Rugby World Cup winner Butch James scored 14 points as the Golden Lions triumphed 22-9 at Western Province on Saturday to keep their South African Currie Cup title defence on track.
The veteran fly-half who helped South Africa defeat England in the 2007 final kicked four penalties and converted a Deon Helberg try and left wing Ruan Combrinck landed a penalty while James was in the sin bin for a high tackle.
It was a polished performance by James -- recalled to the champions' starting line-up when young Elton Jantjies was called up by the Springboks for Rugby Championship duty.
The Lions often kept the ball in hand to good effect and defended bravely when a man short in the second half as Province came close to scoring a try several times at wet and windy Newlands.
Fly-half Demetri Catrakilis kicked two penalty goals for Province and full-back Joe Pietersen one in a below-par home display after a six-try romp against Griquas at the same stadium last weekend.
A stoppage-time try in the corner by left wing Raymond Rhule secured a bonus-point 35-20 win for Free State Cheetahs over neighbours Griquas in Bloemfontein.
Lions have 28 points, Sharks 25, Province 20, Cheetahs 17, Griquas 15 and Blue Bulls 14 with two league rounds left. The top four advance to the semi-finals and the last team faces a relegation play-off against the second-tier champions.