The Sharks need at least 40 log points in order to qualify for the Vodacom Super 14 semi-finals, according to coach Dick Muir.
The Natalians are currently in sixth position with 22 points and play the Blues in Durban on Saturday. They then finish the regular season with matches against the Bulls (away), Stormers and Force (both at home).
That means the Sharks need 18 points from four matches – i.e. four wins with at least two bonus points.
Muir admitted it would be a tough ask. “I think we’re a few points short,” he said. “We didn’t earn enough points overseas and our defeat against the Cheetahs at home could come back to haunt us.”
The Sharks came away from Ellis Park on Saturday with a valuable five points, despite failing to hit top gear.
“Yes, it was not a good performance, but I hope the poor rugby didn’t chase everyone away,” said Muir. “We expected a tough match and if you had told me earlier in the week that we would win by at least 20 points, I would have taken it with both hands.
“In saying that, we were too hasty and missed many opportunities. Maybe I’m too hard on the players, but I think they could do better. We must eliminate the small basic errors if we want to be a good team.”