Beauden Barrett was a late scratching from the Hurricanes, with James Marshall slotting into first five, Jordie Barrett moving to fullback and Peter Umaga-Jensen starting at centre.
It took just six minutes for the Hurricanes to strike. It was Ngani Laumape who took an inside pass from Chase Tiatia and stepped his way through the Lions defence to score the game’s opening try.
The hosts hit back almost immediately, with Lions winger Aphiwe Dyantyi pouncing on a messy kick chase. A penalty kick from both sides saw the score level at 10-10 at the halftime break.
However, it was the Hurricanes who took control of the game after oranges. It started with Ben Lam who scored off the first kick off of the second half. The Lions couldn’t control the ball after the kick and it fell into Lam’s hands who sprinted his way to the line to score.
Ardie Savea made his impact felt when he entered the game. He steamrolled over the top of Elton Jantjies and busted his way down the right sideline, before offloading to Lam who crossed for his second.
Jantjies struck back after being demolished by Savea, by splitting open the Hurricanes defence with a brilliant dummy before offloading to Lionel Mapoe who delivered a superb pass to Dyantyi who claimed his second try of the match.
The game then turned into the Dane Coles show. TJ Perenara was cut down by a high tackle and fell to the ground and the ball went loose, but Coles pounced on the pill and made his way to the try line along the right flank as he so often does. Laumape looked to have gone in again with four minutes remaining, but the TMO disallowed the try with footage showing the grounding was just short of the line.
Coles went in again just before the final whistle. He broke from the back of the rolling maul and barged his way to reach out and find the white chalk.
The victory secured a home playoff for the Hurricanes, who return home this week to face the Blues at Westpac Stadium on Saturday in their final regular season match. While the Lions must win against the Bulls away from home next week if they are to feature in the finals.
Scorers: Lions 17 (Aphiwe Dyantyi 2 tries; Shaun Reynolds 2 cons; Shaun Reynolds pen) Hurricanes 37 (Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam 2, Dane Coles 2 tries; Jordie Barret 3 cons; Jordie Barrett 2 pens). HT 10-10
FT | The @Hurricanesrugby have booked themselves a home quarterfinal after beating the @LionsRugbyCo 37-17 in Johannesburg! #LIOvHUR pic.twitter.com/kixFjKuO4B— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) June 8, 2019