It was an entertaining fixture between two evenly matched teams, with the men from Waikato taking a 17-13 lead into the break through two tries and a penalty goal.
The Chiefs eventually scored four tries, three conversions and a penalty goal, while the Durbanites replied with two converted tries and three penalty goals.
Springbok back Curwin Bosch was again one of the standout players for the visitors and apart from his impressive goal kicking – he contributed 13 points from his five kicks at goal – he was also a constant threat with his surging attacking runs. His Springbok colleague Makazole Mapimpi had an equally good game.
The Durbanites did extremely well to play themselves back into a potential winning position and led 23-17 with just under 20 minutes to go – the result of good defense, powerful forward surges and good tactical kicking from Bosch.
However, two quick tries in the last 13 minutes tilted the momentum and scoreboard in favour of the Kiwis. Chiefs midfielder Anton Leonard-Brown dotted down before Brad Weber (scrumhalf) scored another try straight from the restart.
The Chiefs led 29-23 going into the final few minutes, but the Cell C Sharks turned over possession deep inside their own half, and in a tense finish, the visitors forced the men from Waikato to defend for 18 phases before Bosch made an unfortunate handling error after the fulltime hooter.
Robert du Preez’s side can however be very pleased with the overall outcome of their three-match tour which started with a win over the Waratahs in Sydney and a thrilling draw against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
They now return to Durban for a well-earned break next weekend and then resume action when they host the Emirates Lions on 25 May in another big local derby.
Chiefs 29 (17) – Tries: Brad Weber (2), Mitch Karpik, Anton Lienert-Brown. Conversions: Marty McKenzie (3). Penalty goal: McKenzie.
Cell C Sharks 23 (13) – Tries: Hyron Andrews, Ruan Botha. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2). Penalty goals: Bosch (3)