The Brumbies dismantled a shambolic Sharks 38-13, scoring five tries to one, in a dominant display at GIO Stadium, Canberra.
The victory secures the Brumbies, who have never lost a home playoff match to South African opposition, an away trip to Buenos Aires to take on the Jaguares.
The temperature dropped to two below zero before kick-off, which might have harmed the men from the tropical east coast of Africa.
Defeat for the men in black is the 12th in playoffs in 15 attempts, which is not good enough.
This game was not close; it was a drubbing and could have been more.
The Sharks yet again froze on the big stage, while their opponents showed ice in their veins.
Pete Samu grabbed a first-half brace, and Henry Speight added another five-pointer as the home team took a commanding 24-6 halftime lead.
The Sharks had no answer to the Brumbies power and ingenuity.
Dan McKellar’s men were everything Robert du Preez Snr’s men were not.
The South Africans laboured in every facet of the game; their opponents displayed skill and ingenuity, out-thinking and out-playing them.
Andre Esterhuizen pulled a try back for the Sharks before the hour mark; however, the Brumbies finished strong.
Joe Powell and Matt Lucas heaped humiliation on their opponent’s with two late scores.
Brumbies start fast, taking a commanding lead
The Brumbies got off to the perfect start, scoring twice inside 10 minutes thorough Samu and Henry Speight to go 14-3 up.
Rory Arnold assisted both tries with some deft hands.
The first came from a sublime inside pass by Arnold to Samu, on his shoulder.
Samu burst through a huge hole and scored under the sticks. Christian Lealiifano added the extras.
Curwin Bosch had kicked a ninth-minute penalty to put his side on the board.
Samu’s try came after 55 seconds and Speight’s try, after the restart.
Another creative midfield move by the Brumbies’ backs set-up their second score.
Tom Banks broke the line a la Joe Roff and sent the ball wide to Arnold on the wing.
The lock played Speight, who raced down the touchline to score.
Bosch added his second penalty, on 16 minutes, to keep the Sharks in the hunt.
Brumbies forwards start to assert their dominance
The Brumbies’ maul was wreaking havoc – as it has done all season – and their scrum was on top.
Lealiifano extended the lead with a 21st-minute penalty after Hyron Andrews was caught offsides.
Samu had his second after a classic Brumbies’ driving maul.
Both teams had not conceded from the set-piece, this season.
The away forwards had no answer to the five-man lineout and drive.
When the Sharks did have possession inside the Brumbies’ 22, they could not make it count.
One-dimensional Sharks run out of ideas
Under Robert du Preez Snr, the Sharks have become one-dimensional, especially after stringing a long series of attacks together.
The Durban side went more than 14-phases on four occasions against the Stormers but only scored once.
Again they went 14 phases and did not score, coughing up the ball as their attack stalled.
A botched attacking lineout before halftime, summed up their display.
There was still time for the Australian forwards to march the Sharks 15 metres back into their half with another show of strength in the set-piece.
The visitors survived but went into the break trailing by 18 points.
Sharks finally get going after the interval
The visitors enjoyed almost 70% possession and territory but had nothing to show for their efforts.
They did, however, finally get their driving maul going.
Esterhuizen crashed over after a second consecutive maul, bashing through three defenders to score his ninth Super Rugby try and his team’s first before the hour mark.
As is often the case, the McKellar’s men allow the opposition back into the contest in the second half.
The Sharks went to their driving maul but knocked on near the line. It was a coach killer.
The Brumbies won the resulting scrum-penalty, the second time in the match the Aussies did so after keeping out a driving maul.
The match broke down into an unstructured game of touch as the visitors searched for another score.
Du Preez’s side attacks were easily repelled, and the Brumbies waited to pounce.
The Brumbies’ patience paid off. Powell caught the Sharks napping.
He sniped between two forwards to score next to the posts with less than eight minutes remaining.
Lucas scored before the siren, heaping humiliation on the vanquished, and put the Sharks out of their misery.
Final Score: Brumbies 38 (24) Sharks 13 (6)
Tries – Samu (2), Speight, Powell, Lucas
Pen – Lealiifano
Con – Lealiifano (5)
Tries – Esterhuizen
Pen – Bosch (2)
Con – Bosch
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2: Graham Cooper
TMO: James Leckie
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Connal Mcinerney, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Lachlan Mccaffrey, 21 Jahrome Brown, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 Tom Wright
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola
Replacements: 16 Cullen Collopy, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Rhyno Smith