Jake White made a losing return to Canberra on Saturday as his Sharks were beaten 16-9 by his former team, the Brumbies, in very wet conditions.
Brumbies lock Sam Carter scored the only try of a dreadful game that is likely to go down as the least entertaining of the Super Rugby season.
With the opposing teams playing to a similar blueprint for success via territorial occupation, a dour first half characterised by endless kicking finished with the Brumbies leading 6-3.
The soggy conditions were hardly ideal for running rugby and neither side was willing to play at all in their own half and the second half wasn't much different.
The Brumbies were rewarded for a rare bit of enterprise with Carter's try on the hour mark but the Sharks refused to open up as they chased the game, relying instead on their big pack and Frans Steyn's boot to squeeze out penalties.
The result nevertheless sees the Sharks retain top spot in the overall standings as a losing bonus point moves them one clear of the Chiefs and two ahead of the Brumbies.
Steyn and Christian Lealiifano had exchanged penalties to leave the Brumbies 9-6 up into the final quarter.
The Brumbies landed the killer blow however when Carter ran onto a pass from Nic White inside the Sharks' 22 and bolted through a big hole in the visitors' defence to score untouched.
The Sharks pushed hard for a reply but, faced with a well-organised Brumbies defence, had to settle for a three pointer from Steyn to save the losing bonus point.