The Lions were forced to come from behind to beat the Griquas 38-32 in a Currie Cup game featuring ten tries at GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday.
Griquas led 19-17 at half time and 30-24 on the hour mark but couldn't find the final push needed to get the result, despite playing the last ten minutes with an extra man.
The Lions outscored their hosts six tries to four but had to defend with everything they had to keep the Griquas at bay in a dramatic finish after Anthony Volmink was sent to the sin bin for a tip tackle.
The Lions played running rugby from the start, but Griquas struck first. The hosts scored their first try in the fourth minute when centre Howard Mnisi broke through their defence and his fellow centre Jean Stemmet dotted down.
Lions hooker Robbie Coetzee scored his side's first five pointer of the afternoon after fly-half Elton Jantjies found a gap in Griquas defence. Full-back Marnitz Boshoff converted to put his side in the lead.
From there the Johannesburg based side kept on building momentum and scored their second try shortly after through an Anthony Volmink five-pointer in the corner, although Boshoff missed the conversion.
Griquas replied when full-back PJ Vermeulen rounded off under the posts after a good break by his hooker and captain Ryno Barnes. Fly-half Francois Brummer converted to level the scores at 12 points all with just over 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
The visitors scored their third try with winger Andries Coetzee using space on the outside and cross the whitewash for an unconverted try. But it was Griquas who had the last say in the first half when eighth man Carel Greeff burst over from a scrum five metres from the Lions goalline to help give his side a lead of 19-17 at the break.
Brummer kicked a penalty in the early stages of the second half to give Griquas a five point lead, but the Lions soon drew level after a try in the corner by lock Franco van der Merwe. Jantjies converted to give the lead back to the visitors.
But Griquas were far from done and centre Howard Mnisi scored the bonus point for his side after Jantjies knocked the ball on 20 metres from his own goal line. Brummer converted to give Griquas the lead, but the Lions hit back shortly after.
Boshoff might have had problems with his goal kicking early on, but he made no mistake scoring his try. Jantjies converted to leave the Lions one point adrift.
Jantjies was soon called on again to convert flanker Jaco Kriel's try, the sixth of the afternoon for the visitors. With nine minutes left, Volmink was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle on Brummer.
It left the visitors one man short, but despite all their efforts the hosts could not reduce the deficit.
Tries: Greeff, Mnisi, Stemmet, Vermeulen
Cons: Brummer 3
Pens: Brummer 2
For Golden Lions:
Tries: A. Coetzee, R. Coetzee, van der Merwe, Volmink, Boshoff, Kriel
Cons: Boshoff, Jantjies 3
Yellow card: Volmink (Tip tackle - 72nd min)
Griquas: 15 PJ Vermeulen, 14 Richard Lawson, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Burger Schoeman, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Victor Kruger, 4 Patrick O'Brien, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Dalton Davis, 19 RJ Liebenberg, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Du Randt Gerber, 22 JP Nel.
Golden Lions: 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Andries Coetzee, 13 Robert de Bruyn, 12 Dylan des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie (captain), 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Ruan Venter, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 JJ Breet, 19 Warwick Tecklenburg, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Deon Helberg, 22 Ruhan Nel.