DHL Stormers closed the gap on United Rugby Championship leaders Leinster to just three points after beating Emirates Lions 40-8 in Cape Town.
The URC title holders made it eight wins from 10 starts in this season’s competition with a bonus-point success.
Full-back Damian Willemse and hooker Dean Fourie scored early tries as the Stormers threatened to embark on a points spree.
But the Lions, currently the only South African side outside the league’s top-eight, did not throw in the towel.
Centre Dan du Plessis added a third Stormers try before the interval, and wing Angelo Davids scored shortly afterwards following Henco van Wyk’s touchdown for the Lions, while Jordan Hendrikse kicked a penalty.
Hendrikse’s opposite number Manie Libbok booted five conversions, including the extras for Davids’ second touchdown 13 minutes from time and a late Marcel Theunissen score.
Stormers blasted out of the starting blocks, scoring two tries in the opening 13 minutes against a team seven places and 15 points below them before kick-off.
Willemse pounced for the first, rounding off an outstanding passage of play that saw the forwards set up an imposing attacking platform on which their star full-back prospered.
Libbok converted, and then the Lions were rocked back on their heels by a relentless lineout drive that ended with Fourie touching down as Stormers raced along at almost a point a minute.
Hendrikse stemmed the tide through a 19th-minute penalty, but normal service was resumed when Du Plessis applied an impressive finish to another flowing move, with Libbok’s conversion making it 19-3 at half-time.
The Lions struck first after half-time, patiently going through the phases before Hendrikse floated out a long pass to an unmarked Van Wyk, who touched down and cut Stormers’ lead to 11 points.
But the home side soon re-established control, helped by a brilliant try for Davids that was created by the handling and running skills of number eight Hacjivah Dayimani, who broke clear from inside his own half and send Davids over courtesy of a reverse pass.
Davids again applied a devastating finish for his second try, and Theunissen completed a comprehensive victory in the closing seconds.
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