Reds stun log-leaders Lions
The Reds came into the game on a four-match losing streak, while the Lions impressive win over the Waratahs made them obvious favourites to win.
Some would say jetlag finally caught up with the South African side, however one should credit the Reds' defence who kept the Lions scoreless for the first 54 minutes of the match.
The defeat sees the Lions failing to retain the first place in the overall log.
While the victory sees the Reds jump to third-place in the Australian conference.
Both teams scored four tries apiece.
However, it was the Reds' first-half performance that made sure their head to the lockers with a comfortable 24-0 lead.
Brad Thorn's troops had a splendid start. They went up 5-0 after just two minutes of play, loosehead- prop Jean-Piere Smith bulldozed over the line from the back of a line-out drive.
The Lions had a chance to hit back. However, the visitors failed to retain the five-metre line-out ball and was forced to reconstruct the attack from the 10 metre.
They eventually made some valuable metres, but waisted another try-scoring opportunity when Marx's pass swung forward inside the oppositions' five-metre line.
Instead, the Reds, who starved from possession for a short period of time, went up 10-0 after 10 minutes. No.8 Caleb Timu timed an intercept perfectly and dived over in the corner for the five-pointer.
Flyhalf Hamish Stewart failed to slot over both conversion, however, his brilliant break led to a try from Brandon Paenga-Amosam who powered over the line.
Wing Filipo Daugunu took over the kicking duties and added the extras for the 17-0 lead.
With minutes to go before the break, the Reds had a five-metre scrum. The big pack pushed Lions back, which made scoring the five-pointer easy for George Smith.
Daugunu's booted over the conversion for the 24-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, the Reds added to their tally with a successful penalty by Daugunu. With a comfort 27-0 lead the Reds' intensity subsided which handed the Lions an opening to initiate a potential comeback.
The Lions scored four tries in the last 30 minutes of the game.
After two failed attempts – Johan Janse van Rensburg's knock-on and Malcolm Marx being held up – the hooker Marx finally crossed the line from the back of a driving maul.
Minutes later the Lions opted for a maul – again- which proved to very fruitful as Marx the crossed the chalk for his double.
Jantjies made sure to narrow the deficit, trailing 12-27.
The Lions continued to pile on the pressure in the closing stages and were rewarded as Marnus Schoeman powered over the line for the try.
Schoeman made sure his side bag a losing bonus point as he, once again, crossed the line to narrow the deficit to just 5 points.
Man of the match: The Reds' pack was remarkable. While the Tongan Thor Tanila Tupou delivered a solid performance, our nod goes to Jean-Pierre Smith. The loose-head prop's work rate was magnificent – on the defence he made 10 tackle, while on attack the big guts made 17 metres and scored a try.
Tries: JP Smith, Timu. Paenga-Amosa, G Smith
Cons: Daugunu 2
Tries: Marx 2, Schoeman 2
Reds: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 Hamish Stewart, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 George Smith, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Jean-Pierre Smith.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia'aua, 23 Izaia Perese.
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Francois Mostert (captain), 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Marnus Schoeman, 22 Nicholas Groom, 13 Ashlon Davids.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)