a frenetic start to the match in which both teams gave the ball air in the opening five minutes, Sunwolves flyhalf Tusi Pisi opened the scoring with a penalty to give the Japanese side the lead.
The Lions quickly moved into gear, putting the Sunwolves under immense pressure but Elton Jantjies could not take advantage, missing two penalty attempts at goal.
It took until the 20th minute for the Lions to finally open their account with an unconverted try by hooker Robbie Coetzee after a strong driving maul.
They extended their lead in the 34th minute with a converted try by winger Courtnall Skosan who ghosted over after an brilliant inside pass by Jantjies put him in acres of space.
Pisi added a further penalty for the Sunwolves just before half-time and the teams when into the break with the Lions leading by 12-6.
In the second half, the Sunvwolves continued to force the Lions to work extremely hard for points.
The visitors managed further converted tries through Jaco Kriel and Lionel Mapoe while the Sunwolves sent the home crowd into raptures with their first try in Super Rugby scored through captain and hooker, Shota Horie.
By scoring three tries more than their opponents, the Lions secured a valuable bonus point.
Sunwolves 13 (6)
Tries: Shota Horie
Conversions: Tusi Pisi (1)
Penalties: Tusi Pisi (2)
Lions 26 (12)
Tries: Robbie Coetzee, Courtnall Skosan, Jaco Kriel, Lionel Mapoe
Conversions: Elton Jantjies (3)