The Lions made a statement of intent when they beat the Bulls 51-14 in their South African derby in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The home side were full value for their win and their free-flowing and fast paced style of play proved a real handful for the Bulls and the Lions eventually outscored their visitors by seven tries to two.
The result means the Lions consolidate their position at the top of the Africa Conference 2 table while the Bulls are still second in the Africa Conference 1 standings albeit way off the pace set by the Stormers.
The Stormers ended their four-match winless run when they claimed a hard-fought 30-22 victory over the Blues in Cape Town on Friday.
In a thrilling and uncompromising encounter, played at a frenetic pace, both sides scored three tries apiece although the Stormers finished stronger after the Blues finished the match with 14 players when Matt Duffie received his second yellow card in the 67th minute after he halted play in a cynical fashion deep inside the Stormers’ half.
The result means the Stormers consolidate their position at the top of the Africa 1 Conference standings while the Blues are still languishing at the bottom of the New Zealand Conference table.
The Brumbies got the job done but were made to work very hard before securing a 19-10 victory over the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The result is a momentous one for the two-time champions as it is the first time an Australian side wins a match in South Africa this year and it also ends the Kings’ three-match winning streak.
In a tight tussle, in which the result was in the balance until late in the final quarter, the Brumbies eventually got the rub of the green and outscored their hosts by three tries to one.
The Brumbies controlled the possession and territorial stakes but they could not capitalise on that dominance and squandered several point-scoring opportunities especially during the first half.
The Kings led 10-5 at the interval thanks to a penalty try and a Lionel Cronje penalty and the Brumbies’ only points of the half came courtesy of a Josh Mann-Rea try.
All photos by Stan Blumberg and Zane Hobson