But just as the Kings were building up steam, Hanekom brought them crashing down, intercepting a pass inside his own half to race through to score under the posts.
Replacement George Whitehead missed the extras, but, in the end, it proved inconsequential because the Lions did an excellent job of holding the home side at bay late on.
Eventually crackedThe hosts eventually cracked the visitors' defence with a well executed cross field kick by fly half Catrakilis after a five metre line Mbt Kiburi 5 Black
of Elton Jantjies gave the Lions a first leg lead in the clash.
Stokkies Hanekom ran in two tries and 16 points from the boot Skechers Relaxed Fit Memory Foam Womens
But, shortly afterwards, Dylan des Fountain was sent to the sin bin and the Kings came storming back with replacement lock Sykes powering over.
Southern Kings v Lions
The Golden Lions took control of their Super Rugby promotion/relegation clash with the Southern Kings after winning 26 19 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Mbt Shoes Locations
Port Elizabeth on Friday.
The Kings took a bonus point from the game for ending within seven of the Lions, but it will be of little consolation as they now look ahead to a tough away fixture at Ellis Park next Saturday.
The visitors led 19 14 at half time and went further ahead when centre Hanekom crossed for his second try in the 66th minute, with Jantjies adding the conversion to make it 26 14.
With Sampson standing wide on the left, the Kings fly half's accurate kick landed in his hands and he dived over for the first try Shoes Skechers of the match to put his team back in the lead.
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