The Lions came from behind to beat the Cheetahs 27-25 in their Super Rugby opener at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.
In an entertaining match played at a frenetic pace, the Lions' fly-half Elton Jantjies sealed the win with a penalty in the 74th minute.
The match turned into a kicking duel between Lions Jantjies and his Cheetahs counterpart Johan Goosen who between them contributed 47 points in this encounter.
Jantjies scored all his side points via nine penalties and Goosen's haul of 20 points came from five penalties, a conversion and a drop goal.
The only other points of the match came in the eighth minute when the Cheetahs' tighthead prop WP Nel barged his way over the tryline from close quarters.
This followed after Jantjies opened the scoring in the fifth minute with his first spot kick.
The rest of the half turned into the Goosen show as the 19-year-old pivot gave superb allround display.
After converting Nel's try and easily goaling two penalties, Goosen kicked the drop goal from just inside his half before succeEding with another penalty from 58 metres out.
Jantjies kept his side in the match with three further penalties but the Cheetahs held the upper-hand with a 19-12 lead at the break.
Goosen and Jantjies continued where they left off after half-time by both adding two further penalties but the tide turned when Goosen was yellow carded in the 54th minute.
Referee Mark Lawrence sent him to the sin bin for holding onto a tackled player on the ground and during his time off the pitch Jantjies added another six points to bring his side to within a point of the Cheetahs.
Goosen came back on to the field for a brief period but was soon replaced by Sias Ebersohn after receiving a heavy challenge.
Ebersohn proved to be the villain for the Cheetahs when he missed a relatively easy penalty in the 69th minute.
It proved a pivotal moment in the match and Jantjies soon made the visitors pay when he landed his final penalty five minutes later.
Pens: Jantjies 9
Pens: Goosen 5
Drop goal: Goosen
Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies le Grange, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 James Kamana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (c), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse/ CJ van der Linde, 18 Hendrik Roodt, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Butch James, 22 Michael Killian.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Lappies Labuschagné/Philip van der Walt, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Pieter van Zyl, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Willie le Roux.
Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)