Sensational 13-try Lions maul Sunwolves to keep pressure on Crusaders

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The Lions moved within two points of top spot in the overall Super Rugby standings with a 94-7 demolition of Sunwolves, while Cheslin Kolbe scored a hat-trick in Stormers' thrilling victory over Cheetahs.

With top place guaranteeing home advantage throughout the play-offs, the Lions were at full strength against a sorry Sunwolves to make it 13 straight home wins with a 13-try demolition.

Ross Cronje and Jaco Kriel had each touched down by the time Kwagga Smith added a brace, while Elton Jantjies scored Lions' fifth shortly before the break.

Ruan Combrinck claimed a second-half hat-trick, while there was a second score for Kriel and tries for Akker van der Merwe, Courtnall Skosan, Faf de Klerk, Sylvian Mahuza and Ruan Ackermann in a second-half drubbing.

The hammering leaves the Lions as runaway leaders in South Africa Conference Two, while Crusaders are ahead of them by just two points in the overall standings.

In Bloemfontein, there were nine tries, two red cards and three yellows as South Africa Conference One leaders Stormers quelled a brilliant Cheetahs fightback in a 40-34 victory, with Kolbe the hat-trick hero.

Kolbe, who finished with 24 points thanks to four successful conversions, scored twice in the first half, Damian Willemse and Seabelo Senatla also crossing to help Stormers to a 26-17 lead at the break.

Pieter-Steph du Toit and Frans Malherbe did the hard work for Kolbe to complete his treble after the break, but when Du Doit was sin-binned for a high tackle on Francois Venter, the match turned on its head.

Clinton Swart dotted down before a great run from Venter gave Raymond Rhule the simple converted try and left Cheetahs in front by one, but Sikhumbuzo Notshe's late score restored a lead that Cheetahs did not relinquish.

There was more drama late on as Rynhardt Elstadt and Venter were sent off for a fracas off the ball.