JOHANNESBURG - A massive second-half fightback wasn't enough for the Blues, who lost 39-36 to the Lions in Johannesburg despite scoring five tries to three.
Down 17-0 at halftime and 23-3 with less than half an hour remaining, the Blues found their attacking verve too late as they suffered a third loss from four Super Rugby games. Their only consolation was securing two bonus points.
While the Blues return home from South Africa in 11th place, a Lions side expected to struggle this season are in fourth place with three wins from five games.
The boot of Marnitz Boshoff was decisive as the hosts lodged their first win over the Blues in seven meetings since 2006.
The five-eighth landed five from six shots along with two dropped goals in a 24-point haul.
The Lions crossed through halfback Faf de Klerk and wing Coutnall Skosan late in the first spell after a scoreless opening 35 minutes. Their other try was a contentious score to fullback Coenie van Wyk midway through the second half.
Van Wyk pounced on a loose ball after centre Deon van Rensburg appeared to lose possession forward in a tackle over the tryline by Blues wing Charles Piutau. South African referee Stuart Berry agreed with a TMO ruling that Piutau had stripped the ball backwards.