The Pumas survived two yellow cards to complete a riveting comeback victory against the Lions at Ellis Park on Friday and climb to third in the Currie Cup standings.
The 36-33 result is the Pumas’ third win of the tournament and takes them into the top three behind the Sharks and Bulls.
As for the Lions, this was a fourth defeat and one which keeps them chained to the foot of the table.
The Lions scored the opening try of the game through wing Rabz Maxwane to lead 7-3 after the Pumas had been reduced to 14 players when No 8 Willie Engelbrecht was yellow-carded inside the first 10 minutes.
The Pumas responded through veteran fullback Devon Williams, but the Lions wrestled back the momentum to push their lead out to 21-10 with two quickfire tries just before the break – the second of those after Pumas captain PJ van Vuren had been sin-binned.
Where the teams had been closely matched in the first half, it was a blowout in favour of the visitors in the second as they outscored the Lions 26-12. The Pumas overhauled their opponents by scoring a brace of tries on either side of a yellow card to Lions lock FP Pelser midway through the third quarter.
Wing Etienne Taljaard crossed twice while centre Erich Cronje and lock Shane Kirkwood also put their names on the scoresheet for the Pumas.
The Lions threw everything at the Pumas in response, adding two more tries to their tally to set up a grandstand finish with a three-point difference heading into the last 10 minutes.
Unfortunately for the hosts, the Pumas’ scramble defence in the dying stages of the game held up and they sealed the win.