The Lions secured top spot on the overall Super Rugby log when they beat the Sharks 27-17 at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.
The Lions had to beat the Sharks to finish top of the standings after the Hurricanes beat the Crusaders earlier in the day. And Johannesburg side manage to do the business over their rivals after leading 13-10 at halftime.
The Lions will now take on the Sharks at Ellis Park on Saturday afternoon in the third quarter-final, and are in line for a home semi-final and final if they prevail over their local rivals.
The Brumbies host the Hurricanes in the first quarter-final on Friday, while the Crusaders will take on the Highlanders at home. The Stormers take on the Chiefs for the second time in two years at this stage in the last quarter-final match.
At Kings Park on Saturday, the Sharks took an early 3-0 lead after flyhalf Garth April slot a penalty, but the Lions soon hit back with hooker Malcolm Marx crossing the line after a maul in the 21st minute.
The Sharks, though, regained the lead shortly before halftime when wing Kobus van Wyk scored the easiest of tries after plucking a short 22 drop-out by Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies out of the air before running in to score.
However, the Lions had the last say at the end of the first half, when fullback Andries Coetzee rounded off a wonderful team try for the Lions, that featured many offloads in the tackle.
The Lions opened the scoring in the second half with a penalty via Jantjies' boot, before captain Jaco Kriel scored a try to give the visitors a 24-10 lead.
Jantjies then slotted a late penalty to add to the Lions' tally. After falling at the final hurdle last year, the Lions now have a great opportunity to win the Super Rugby title.
SUPER RUGBY QUARTER-FINALS
Friday, July 21
Brumbies v Hurricanes, 11:35 (CAT)
Saturday, July 22
Crusaders v Highlanders, 09:35
Lions v Sharks, 14:30
Stormers v Chiefs, 17:00