The Stormers have returned from the month-long international break to beat the Lions 27-17 in their South African derby in the Super 15 rugby and stay top of their national conference and second overall.
Without Springboks Eben Etzebeth and Bryan Habana, the Stormers crossed through fullback Gio Aplon, loose forward Jebb Sinclair and wing Gerhard van den Heever to come through a brave challenge from the coachless Lions at Newlands.
The visitors from Johannesburg had shrugged off their problems with coach John Mitchell's suspension to close the gap to 13-10 early in the second half after captain Joshua Strauss' rampaging run and score.
But Canada international Sinclair and Van der Heever scored in the last 10 minutes to seal victory for the Stormers and keep them clear of the Bulls in the South African conference. They move four points behind tournament leaders the Chiefs of New Zealand.
There are two rounds of the regular season remaining and the top two teams in the standings qualify for home semifinals.
With lock Etzebeth injured and wing Habana rested, South Africa team mate Aplon sent the Stormers on their way to a 12th win in 14 games this season with his 30th-minute score.
Sinclair's try in the 71st eventually put the home team clear of the stubborn Lions, and Van den Heever made sure of victory on the return of Super 15 action in South Africa following the three-test series between the Springboks and England.
Second-rower Franco van der Merwe went over for a Lions' consolation try in the last minute, but the bottom-place team has now lost 12 of 14 this season and Mitchell's job is on the line after he was suspended and put under investigation during the June break when players complained over their treatment by the former All Blacks coach.
With the Stormers 6-3 up through flyhalf Peter Grant's two penalties, Aplon slipped in for the first try on an overlap on the left flank following wing Danie Poolman's bust up the middle. There were still five Stormers outside Aplon when the No. 15 ducked in for his sixth try this season.
Strauss hit back for the Lions in the 48th when he powered through tackles from two Stormers defenders and broke for the line.
The Stormers soaked up steady pressure from the lowly visitors in the middle of the second half, before replacement forward Sinclair forced his way over in the left corner and Grant's touchline conversion gave them a 10-point advantage at 20-10.
Van den Heever weaved through with a jinking run in the 77th to put it beyond doubt, before Van der Merwe was driven over from a lineout in the dying moments for the struggling Lions, who could be the first team relegated from Super rugby.
Stormers 27 (Gio Aplon, Jebb Sinclair, Gerhard van den Heever tries; Peter Grant 3 conversions, 2 penalties).
Lions 17 (Joshua Strauss, Franco van der Merwe tries; Elton Jantjies 2 conversions, penalty).
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