It may be pure coincidence, but the two sides that are yet to lose a match after three rounds of the Currie Cup competition are coached by New Zealand descendants.
Lions coach John Mitchell and Sharks coach John Plumtree were born in the same town, Hawera, and after respective victories over the Leopards and Cheetahs, only points difference separates their teams at the top of the log.
Not that their third victories of the season were as convincing as they would have liked.
The Lions secured a 53-36 victory, but only managed to seal the deal seven minutes from full time after the Leopards bounced back from a 29-15 half-time deficit to level the scores at 36-all with 10 minutes left to play.
"We got there at the end and that's the main thing," said Mitchell.
"Not everyone brought their best game tonight and we handed just about all their tries to them.
"The last try for us as a team was an outstanding team try, but to finish the game off the way we did really annoys me."
The Sharks also had to dig deep to keep the Cheetahs at bay in their 43-34 win in Durban and were also on the receiving end of a fight back that saw the Cheetahs bounce back after trailing 26-3 after a four-try blitzkrieg their hosts.
"I was hoping that with three or four minutes to go we would be a bit more comfortable than that," said Plumtree.
"We knew they wouldn't lie down and probably what undid us in the second half was our discipline.
"We gave away far too many penalties which really hurt us."
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské was understandably irritated at the fact that his charges again struggled to put two halves together.
"We need to learn to put together two halves of 40 minutes," said Drotské.
"Last week against the Bulls we played well in the first half and then let it slip in the second, this week it was the other way around.
"Also there were lots of unforced errors, the breakdowns weren't good and there was a lot there, so I'm not happy at all with the way we played."
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