The Lions beat the Sharks 27-10 in Durban this morning to leap frog the Crusaders into the top spot.
The Crusaders unbeaten run this season came to an abrupt end in Wellington last night after being beaten by an under-strength Hurricanes side 31-22.
The Hurricanes turned around a 12-7 half time deficit to record their 12th win of the season, cementing their spot in second on the New Zealand conference.
While the Chiefs beat Australian conference leaders, the ACT Brumbies, 28-10 in Hamilton last night, they couldn't climb any higher than third on the New Zealand ladder.
Following all the matches overnight, the playoff scenario will see the Lions face the Sharks again, twice in a week, but this time they'll host them at home in Johannesburg.
The second placed Crusaders will host the Highlanders in Christchurch, the Hurricanes will take the trip to ACT to face the Brumbies while the Chiefs face the long haul journey to Cape Town to face the Stormers who finished top of the Africa 1 pool.
Photo: PHOTOSPORT Crusaders lock Scott Barrett stands dejected following their final round loss to the Hurricanes in Super Rugby.