The Cell C Sharks led by 11-3 at the break as Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am scored a try and Boeta Chamberlain (flyhalf) kicked a penalty goal and drop goal to a solitary penalty goal by DHL Stormers flyhalf Manie Libbok.
The Capetonians, however, fought back strongly in the second half to earn two penalty tries and a five-pointer by Springbok utility back Damian Willemse, which saw them sneak through for a draw, which seemed unlikely for most of the match.
Am opened up the scoring in the third minute to dot down out wide and they threatened again soon after but were unable to gather the ball over the tryline.
The Durbanites’ received a blow in the 20th minute as Am received a yellow card, and the visitors capitalised on this almost immediately with Libbok kicking a penalty goal to reduce their deficit to two points.
Chamberlain extended the home side’s lead to 8-3 with a penalty goal in the 25th minute, but he missed two subsequent attempts at the posts, and after a yellow card to Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers flanker), Chamberlain slotted over a well-timed drop goal to hand his team an 11-3 lead.
The Cell C Sharks picked up where they left off after the break with Springbok speedster Makazole Mapimpi touching down for their second try five minutes after play resumed, thanks to a brilliant kick by SA Rugby Young Player of the Year Aphelele Fassi, which saw them take a 16-3 lead.
Chamberlain added another three-pointer to push their score to 19-3, but the momentum shifted in the DHL Stormers’ favour soon after as Willemse snuck around the defence in the 53rd minute to score the visitors' first try.
Chamberlain added another penalty goal minutes later to push the team 22-8 ahead, but two penalty tries awarded to the Cape side – the first in the 68th minute for the hosts collapsing a maul close to the tryline, and then on the stroke of fulltime after Fassi knocked down the ball deliberately with a two-man overlap as the DHL Stormers were on the way to the tryline – saw them snatch a draw at the death.
The knock down by Fassi also saw him receive his marching orders, but this had no impact on the match as it was the last phase of play.
Cell C Sharks 22 (11) – Tries: Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi. Penalty goals: Boeta Chamberlain (3). Drop goal: Chamberlain.
DHL Stormers 22 (3) – Tries: Damian Willemse, Penalty Try (2). Penalty goals: Manie Libbok.