The Hurricanes marched to a 37-17 win over the Lions at Ellis Park.
The Hurricanes suffered a massive blow with the late withdrawal of Beauden Barrett.
However, it did not halt the Wellington side’s momentum, who outscored the Lions five tries to two.
The result means that the Hurricanes have booked a home quarterfinal with a round still to play.
The Hurricanes were the first team on the board when, Ngani Laumape, took his try tally to 11 with an amazing line break and the first try of the match. Jordie Barrett added the easy extras for the 7-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, Lions hit back and levelled the score. Flyhalf Shaun Reynolds saw heaps up space and put in a cross-kick that was bravely collected by Aphiwe Dyantyi for the five-pointer. Reynolds made sure to add the conversion.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure inside the Hurriance’ five but found it difficult to break through the solid defence. Eventually, after multiple phases, the hosts opted for the posts and took the 10-7 lead on the quarter mark thanks to Reynolds.
But unfortunately for the Lions, they also suffered a major setback when Kwagga Smith had to leave the field with what appears to be a knee injury.
The match certainly took a tit for tat pattern. Just before the break Hurricanes levelled the score as Barrett slotted over a 35-metre penalty, making it 10-all after 40 minutes.
Less than a minute into the second half, the Hurricanes took the lead after some sloppy work from the Lions made sure Ben Lam scooped up a loose ball and strolled in for the try. Barrett added the conversion for the 17-10 lead.
From the restart, Dyantyi made an impressive break up to the Hurricanes’ 22, before handing it to prop Carlu Sadie. However, the opportunity was halted courtesy of replacements Ardie Savea.
With Savea and Dane Coles on the field, the Hurricanes were showed why they are the second best New Zealand team in the competition behind the Crusaders.
The team started dominating the score. And following a successful penalty from Barrett, they extended their lead as Savea’s pop pass made sure Lam went over the chalk for his second try of the day.
The Lions managed to pull one back when Dyanti rounded off a team try, despite the questionable pass in the lead up to score. Janjties narrowed the deficit to eight points.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, the Hurricanes concluded the match in ruthless fashion, replacement Coles scored a brace of tries which finally dampened the Lions’ spirit and secured the bonus-point win.
The Hurricanes return to New Zealand to face the Blues at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
While the Lions will play a must-win encounter against their neighbours the Bulls at Loftus Versveld.
Man of the match: For the Lions Aphiwe Dyantyi along with Carlu Sadie was the standout performers for the side. For the Hurricanes, replacements Ardie Savea and Dane Coles were impressive. However, for his amazing runs and solid, defence out nod goes to Ngani Laumape.
Tries: Dyanti 2
Cons: Reynolds, Janjties
Tries: Laumape, Lam 2, Coles 2
Cons: Barrett 3
Pens: Barrett 2
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Albertus Smith, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Tyrone Green.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett,, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Chase Tiatia, 10 James Marshall, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Liam Mitchell, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Danny Toala, 23 Salesi Rayasi.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Stefan Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)