Cape Town - The Sharks schooled the Lions in a Super Rugby clash at Ellis Park on Friday night as they secured a 42-5 win that was easily their best performance of the 2019 season.
The visitors scored six tries, securing a bonus point win in what was a rare win for them in Johannesburg.
The Sharks were off to a flying start, putting the Lions under immediate pressure that seemed to last for most of the contest.
The Lions lost lock Rhyno Herbst to a yellow card after just 10 minutes as a result, but the Sharks initially struggled to convert their early pressure into points.
Back-to-back tries in the space of just a few minutes through Jacques Vermeulen and Makazole Mapimpi, though, gave the Durbanites their reward with Curwin Bosch instrumental in both scores.
Flyhalf Robert du Preez could not convert either of those tries, but the Sharks had done enough to manufacture a 10-0 lead.
When Lukhanyo Am finished off a clinically executed training ground move off a lineout, the small crowd at Ellis park was well and truly stunned as they saw their side slip to 17-0 behind.
A Du Preez penalty took it out to 20-0, and when Mapimpi dived over in the left corner for his second just before half-time, the Lions were effectively buried as they went into the break 25-0 down.
The rain fell heavily throughout the second period as the pace of the game dropped after the restart, but again it was the Sharks to strike first through a 55m penalty from Bosch, who made it 28-0 as his strong contribution continued.
Tendai Mtawarira, meanwhile, also put in a strong shift in his 157th Super Rugby match as he became South Africa's most-capped player in the tournament's history.
It just wasn't the Lions' day, and nothing they did worked as fans started filtering out of the stadium well before the final whistle.
Those who did leave early missed a late consolation try from Sylvian Mahuza, though the Sharks would have the last say when substitute Aphelele Fassi scored in the right corner following more good work from Bosch.
For the Sharks, it was a hugely important win and their first over South African opposition in four attempts in 2019.
They now move to the top of the South African Conference ahead of the Lions, though the Bulls can take that spot with a win against the Jaguares at Loftus on Saturday.
If the Bulls do win on Saturday, the Lions will slip to 3rd in the Conference.
Lions 5 (0)
Try: Sylvian Mahuza
Sharks 42 (25)
Tries: Jacques Vermeulen, Makazole Mapimpi (2), Lukhanyo Am, Thomas du Toit, Aphelele Fassi
Conversions: Robert du Preez, Curwin Bosch (2)
Penalties: Du Preez, Bosch
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 12 Lionel Mapoe, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruan Vermaak, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Stephan Lewies, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Hacjivah Dayimani, 23 Sylvian Mahuza
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Philip van der Walt, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Kobus van Wyk, 23 Aphelele Fassi