VIDEO: Hurricanes steal dramatic winner in 86th minute
VIDEO: Hurricanes steal dramatic winner in 86th minuteSHARE
The final scoreline does not tell the full story of the drama that unfolded in the build-up to the match-winning score.
All credit to the Hurricanes for hanging on when the Sharks seemed to have wrapped up the victory.
The Sharks were up 37-31 with 90 seconds to go and appeared poised for victory but the Hurricanes maintained possession and Ngani Laumape's try made it 37-36.
Pivot Ihaia West, standing in for the injured Beauden Barrett, then coolly slotted the conversion six minutes after the full-time siren.
It capped a pulsating match in which the lead changed five times as both teams left nothing in the tank.
But the visitors can feel aggrieved about some of the refereeing decision in the last 10 minutes and the dramatic six minutes after the full-time hooter had already sounded.
Sharks captain Ruan Botha was at his most diplomatic best in his post-match reaction.
"A few calls didn't go our way," Botha said, as he tried his best to hide his obvious disappointment.
Despite whatever controversy there is around the final outcome, the result means the Hurricanes are now sitting pretty at the top of the competition standings.
Both sides scored four tries, with braces for Hurricanes centre Laumape and Sharks wing Lukhanyo Am.
"That was bloody tough: they're a quality outfit and we made it really hard on ourselves at times," said Hurricanes skipper Brad Shields.
"That last six minutes, I'm really proud of the way we stayed composed and patient. We knew we had to chase the game at the end and we left it a bit late."
The Sharks showed the same flair displayed in last week's 63-40 win over the Blues but conceded 15 penalties.
Four of the infringements came after the 80-minute siren, allowing the Hurricanes to keep possession and set up Laumape's match-winner on the right wing.
"I'm disappointed and I don't know how the rest of the guys feel," said Sharks captain Ruan Botha.
"A few of the calls didn't go our way, but hats off to the Hurricanes, they stuck in right to the end and got a victory."
A helter-skelter first-half began with a Sharks penalty before Jordie Barrett scored the opening try for the Hurricanes when he outflanked the Sharks' defence.
Laumape followed up his first five-pointer when Ihaia West put him through with a tricky no-look pass.
But two tries in four minutes to Am and Louis Schreuder gave the Sharks the lead, only for the Hurricanes to regain it when Vince Aso gathered a kick and beat Sibusiso Nkosi in a race to the line.
A Sharks penalty and Am's second try, the result of quality passing in the buildup, put the Sharks up 27-19 at half-time.
The furious pace slowed after the restart as the home team twice narrowed the gap to two points with penalty kicks.
Tyler Paul's 73rd-minute try, set up by a searing run from fullback Curwin Bosch, appeared to have opened a decisive lead for the Sharks until Laumape's late heroics.
Man of the match: Hurricanes captain Brad Shields was a workhorse of note, while Ihaia West and Jordie Barrett kept asking questions of the Sharks' defence. Sharks midfielders Lukhanyo Am and Andre Esterhuizen were massive on defence and attack. Curwin Bosch showed that perhaps fullback is his best position. Lock Ruan Botha, along with loose forwards Philip van der Walt and Jean-Luc du Preez also had massive influences. However, our award goes to Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez – who not just kicked all his goals and directed the show fro No.10, but he even found time to win crucial turnovers at the breakdown.
For the Hurricanes:
Tries: J Barrett, Laumape 2, Aso
Cons: West 3
Pens: West 4
For the Sharks:
Tries: Am 2, Schreuder, Paul
Cons: R du Preez 4
Pens: R du Preez 3
Yellow card: Franco Marais (Sharks, 82 – professional foul, lying on the wrong side of a ruck)
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Thomas Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Wes Goosen.
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (captain), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Tyler Paul, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Jacobus van Wyk.
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)