The visitors from Durban trailed the Queenlanders 11-8 at halftime but turned things around and clinched the game thanks to a dominant second half performance.
With their forwards setting the tone, the visitors scored three tries after the break, while Curwin Bosch hit the target with two sweetly struck long-range penalty goals to take the game away from the Reds.
Kerron van Vuuren scored the Cell C Sharks’ first try from a well-constructed 25-meter rolling maul, while Bosch kicked his first penalty to give his side a three-point deficit at half-time.
Dylan Richardson scored his maiden competition try five minutes into the second half which handed the advantage to the visitors, and from thereon they never relinquished the lead.
Reds scrumhalf Tate McDermott took a quick tap penalty to dive over to close the gap to 16-15 and Bosch then struck two long range penalty goals to hand the momentum back to the visitors.
Springbok centre and Cell C Sharks skipper, Lukhanyo Am, showed his alertness and pace to score near the posts for an intercept try. Madosh Tambwe (right wing) followed him soon over the whitewash following excellent footwork from Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
The Reds fought right until the end and were rewarded with a consolation try in the 88th minute through replacement hooker Ed Craig.
Reds 23 (11) – Tries: Henry Speight, Tate McDermott, Ed Craig. Conversion: Jock Campbell. Penalties: Jock Campbell (2).
Cell C Sharks 33 (8) – Tries: Kerron van Vuuren, Dylan Richardson, Lukhanyo Am, Madosh Tambwe. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2). Penalties: Bosch (3).