The Hurricanes have locked in a home Super Rugby quarter-final, beating the Lions 37-17 at Ellis Park this morning.
The impressive display was conjured up without All Blacks first-five Beauden Barrett, who was a late scratch with a yet-to-be-revealed injury. James Marshall stepped into his role at first-five, Jordie Barrett moved to fullback and Peter Umaga-Jensen got the nod at centre.
It all clicked smoothly enough for the Hurricanes, but they had to wait a while to gain the ascendancy. Although they struck first through Ngani Laumape's delightful burst then step past Courtnall Skosan, the Lions hit back through Aphiwe Dyantyi, and largely dominated the first half.
They lost influential flanker Kwagga Smith to injury though, and the Hurricanes held off the early onslaught to be tied at 10 going into the break.
That was as good as it got for the Lions, with a howler from the Lions to open the second half seeing the ball spilt straight into the path of Ben Lam, who raced away to score. Five minutes later - after a Barrett penalty - he had a double, with help from an Ardie Savea offload, and the Hurricanes lead 25-10.
The Lions had a try ruled out due to obstruction, then cut the gap to 25-17, but the Hurricanes were up to the task, with a Dane Coles double sealing a win which should see the Hurricanes finish second on the ladder.
Now on 49 points after the bonus-point win, only the Jaguares - on 41, with a game in hand later this morning - can catch them. Now, the Hurricanes will prepare for the Blues at home next weekend, before getting to stay in Wellington for their quarter-final.
Hurricanes 37 (Ben Lam 2, Dane Coles 2, Ngani Laumape tries; Jordie Barrett 3 cons, 2 pens)
Lions 17 (Aphiwe Dyantyi 2 tries; Shaun Reynolds 2 cons, pen).