Winger Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries as the Sharks stunned South African rivals the Lions with an emphatic 42-5 Super Rugby victory at Ellis Park on Friday.
The visitors dominated every facet of the game, enjoying the greater share of possession and territory to move to the summit of the South African Conference with 21 points from seven matches. Loose-forward Jacques Vermeulen, centre Lukhanyo Am, prop Thomas du Toit and replacement back Aphelele Fassi also crossed the tryline for the Sharks, who dominated possession in their first Super Rugby win at Ellis Park since 2014.
The Lions grabbed a consolation when replacement winger Sylvian Mahuza crossed for his side's first points a minute from the end, but their three-match winning running was brought to a shuddering, and unexpected, halt.
The Lions selected flanker Cyle Brink for the first time since he returned from seven months on the sidelines with a knee injury and winger Aphiwe Dyantyi was chosen at outside centre in a gamble by coach Swys de Bruin that the visitors exploited.
Sharks prop Tendai Mtawarira became the most capped South African player in Super Rugby history when he made his 157th appearance, one more than retired former Cheetahs and Bulls hooker Adriaan Strauss.
After a scoreless opening quarter, the relentless pressure of the Sharks bore fruit as they moved the ball through the phases before swinging wide for Vermeulen to cross for the try.
That opened the floodgates as fullback Curwin Bosch scythed through a gap in the Lions line and sent the speedster Mapimpi away to score a second.
Intricate short-passing allowed Am to find another hole in the home defence for the third try before the half-hour mark, and Mapimpi crossed again in the corner to give the visitors a 25-0 halftime lead.
The rain started pelting down before the interval and made handling difficult in the second period, favouring the Sharks who had built up their decisive advantage on the scoreboard.
Bosch added a long-range penalty, but it took until the 72nd minute for the next score as Du Toit barged over from close range, and Fassie added the sixth try after the hooter.