Durban - The Golden Lions turned in a strong second-half performance on their way to a 27-20 victory over the Sharks XV in their Vodacom Cup quarter-final at Kings Park in Durban on Friday.
Trailing 13-10 at half-time, the Lions, who were 10 points down after 20 minutes, scored 24 unanswered points to make sure of the win despite a late consolation try for the hosts from wing Jongi Nokwe.
Sharks XV flyhalf Jaco van Tonder and his opposite number Willie du Plessis exchanged early penalties before the hosts scored the first try of the match when Johan Meyer crashed over for a converted try.
The hosts extended their lead through a Van Tonder penalty but it was the visitors who scored the last points of the half thanks to a superb team try five minutes before the break.
Fullback Wynand Willis started a move 60m out before the ball went through the hands of left wing Selom Gavor and No 8 Ruaan Lerm before outside centre Nicolaas Hanekom rounded off the move.
The second half belonged almost exclusively to the Lions with Du Plessis kicked outstandingly from out of hand.
The visitors took the lead eight minutes after the restart after a lineout five metres from the Sharks XV's line saw the ball travel down the backline to allow Willis cross for a converted try.
The Lions extended their lead six minutes later after a powerful rolling maul which allowed flank Stephan de Wet to crash over for another converted try.
Du Plessis kicked a 59th minute penalty to make sure of the victory.
Tries: Nicolaas Hanekom, Wynand Willis, Stephan de Wet
Conversions: Willie du Plessis (3)
Penalties: Du Plessis (2).
Tries: Johan Meyer, Jongi Nokwe
Conversions: Jaco van Tonder, Duncan Campbell
Penalties: Van Tonder (2)