The Golden Lions and the Pumas progressed to the semi-finals of the Vodacom Cup after wins against the Sharks XV and Western Province respectively.
The Sharks hosted the Lions in Durban and were firm favourites to win this clash, after they sailed into the knock-out phase with only one loss.
They raced to an early 13-3 lead, but a try late in the first half from Lions centre Stokkies Hanekom narrowed the deficit to three, heading into the break.
The second half was a complete turnaround in fortunes as the Lions went over for two quick touchdowns from fullback Vainon Williams and flank Stephan de Witt. Flyhalf Willie du Plessis added the extras on both occasions, and a penalty kick, as the Lions scored 17 unanswered points.
With three minutes of regular time left, former Bok wing Jongi Nokwe got a consolation try for Sharks.
In Nelspruit, Western Province’s hopes of lifting the title were pulverised when the Pumas beat them 13-8. There were a few nervous spectators after Pumas flyhalf JC Roos sent three consecutive penalty attempts wayward, but all was forgiven when Roos nailed the next penalty, and then converting JW Bell’s try, to hand the Pumas a 10-0 lead at the break.
Fifteen minutes from full-time, Western Province were awarded a kickable penalty and flyhalf Gary van Aswegen made no mistake. Captain Rohan Kitshoff followed that up with a try, reducing the deficit to just two. In the final 10 minutes Western Province attacked fiercely, but the Pumas' defence held on and secured a penalty, from which Coenie van Wyk sealed the match.
The Blue Bulls travel to Bloemfontein where they will face the Free State XV and the Griquas hosts the SWD Eagles in Kimberley, in the two remaining quarter-finals.
Sharks – Tries: Johan Meyer, Jongi Nokwe. Conversions: Jaco van Tonder, Duncan Campbell. Penalty: Van Tonder.
Lions – Tries: Vainon Williams, Stokkies Hanekom, Stephan De Witt. Conversions: Willie Du Plessis (3). Penalties: Du Plessis (2).
Pumas – Try: JW Bell. Conversion: JC Roos. Penalties: Roos, Coenie van Wyk.
WP – Try: Rohan Kitshoff. Penalty: Gary van Aswegen.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images