Cape Town - The Lions remained unbeaten in this year's Super Rugby tournament after a hard-fought victory over their nearest neighbours, the Bulls, at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
As it happened: Bulls v Lions
The Lions won 49-35 after leading 21-14 at half-time.
The Lions made it three wins from as many matches as they scored seven converted tries through props Ruan Dreyer and Jacques van Rooyen, hooker Malcolm Marx, lock Marvin Orie, wing Sylvian Mahuza, scrumhalf Ross Cronje and a penalty try.
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies was perfect from the kicking tee with all six of the conversions he was required to take.
For the Bulls it will be back to the drawing board after their impressive victory over the Hurricanes last weekend, but to their credit, they were competitive for large parts of the match until two concurrent yellow cards to replacements Conraad van Vuuren and Nic de Jager in the second half derailed their efforts.
They did manage four five-pointers through wing Johnny Kotze, replacement prop Lizo Gqoboka, wing Travis Ismaiel and Handre Pollard, who was forced into a late shift from flyhalf to centre following a pre-match injury to regular midfielder and captain, Burger Odendaal.
Marnitz Boshoff, who stepped in to fulfil Pollard's usual role at No 10, added a conversion and three penalties, while replacement Francois Brummer added two late conversions.
The Lions picked up a full-house of five points for their victory to extend their lead atop the South African Conference and retake top spot in the Overall standings.
The Bulls left empty-handed and stayed third in the South African Conference, but dropped to eighth in the Overall log.
In next weekend's Round 4 action, the Lions host the Blues at Ellis Park (Saturday, March 10 at 17:15), while the Bulls begin their Australasian tour against the Reds in Brisbane (Saturday, March 10 at 10:45 SA time).
15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Handré Pollard
(captain), 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff , 9 Andre Warner, 8 Hanro
Liebenberg, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG
Snyman, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19
Nic de Jager, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Francois
Brummer, 23 Warrick Gelant
Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van
Rensburg 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren
Whiteley (captain), 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4
Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourens
Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 22 Harold
Vorster, 23 Madosh Tambwe