When the hosts scored their fourth try in the 55th minute to stretch their lead to 26-6, it looked like game, set and match at the DHL Stadium, but the KwaZulu-Natalians refused to give up, answering with three tries in the final 20 minutes but just coming up short in the end.
Under pressure in the set pieces, on the ground and in the air, and with their discipline letting them down, the Cell C Sharks failed to get any meaningful possession in the right areas of the field, with the hosts controlling the game in the first half which gave the majority of the 30,000 strong crowd a lot to be happy about.
Apart from two Curwin Bosch penalty goals, the visitors came close once in the half, only to see a penalty reversed for foul play at a ruck, which gave the DHL Stormers an opportunity to get back into the other side of the field and unleash their attack.
Which is exactly what they did, working their way upfield before Clayton Blommetjies went over for their third try from an attacking scrum, adding his name to the score sheet along with Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Ben-Jason Dixon, who scored in the opening 20 minutes, to give the DHL Stormers a 19-6 lead at the break.
The Capetonians were slow out of the blocks in the second half, but 15 minutes after the break, Blommetjies got his second after a good cross kick from Manie Libbok into acres of space and although it first evaded Angelo Davids, the DHL Stormers fullback was at hand to pick it up and dot down for the points.
The Cell C Sharks scored their first try four minutes later - a brilliant effort from Yaw Penxe after a great little chip from Bosch - but an unnecesasry clear by Werner Kok on Deon Fourie saw the hosts get a penalty instead of the restart, which immediately put them back into the right side of the field on the attack.
They failed to make it count and instead the visitors, with their pack evening up the forward dual - built some momentum and Rohan Janse van Rensburg was at hand to close the gap to eight points with 15 minutes go as he stormed through four tackle-attempts for the try.
The visitors were smelling blood and the nippy Grant Williams struck hard in a matter of minutes. First, he took a quick-tap penalty which led to a yellow card to Sazi Sandi for not retreating quickly enough. Then, from a scrappy lineout, the Cell C Sharks scrumhalf sped through a gap for a brilliant try and in the process, he stepped Seabelo Senatla who stuck out a foot for a trip, and he joined his prop in the sin bin.
Bosch missed the conversion and with a little over five minutes left, it was a three point game - which seemed unlikely 30 minutes earlier - and with 13 Capetonians playing 15 Durbanites in the closing stages.
But the visitors failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage as the DHL Stormers' defence and composure held firm in a tense few minutes at the end, while the Cell C Sharks seemed almost over-eager and made a few silly mistakes, one of which led to a final Libbok penalty goal to hand the DHL Stormers their 12th consecutive SA derby victory.
DHL Stormers 26 (19) - Tries: Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Ben-Jason Dixon, Clayton Blommetjies (2). Conversions: Manie Libbok (3). Penalty goal: Libbok.
Cell C Sharks 23 (6) - Tries: Yaw Penxe, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Grant Williams. Conversion: Curwin Bosch. Penalty goals: Bosch (2).