The DHL Stormers went down 41-22 and suffered some key injuries in their Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg.
The DHL Stormers now have two home games against the Sunwolves and Cell C Sharks left before the knock-out phase of the competition and will be looking to build on their impressive home record this season.
The visitors took the game to the opposition from the outset, but two consecutive penalties saw the game go from tryline to tryline where Emirates Lions No.8 got over from an attacking line-out for the opening try.
The home side backed that up with a penalty from flyhalf Shaun Reynolds before the DHL Stormers got on the scoreboard with a penalty from their pivot Josh Stander.
The Emirates Lions had their second try of the half when fullback Andries Coetzee found a way over, but the DHL Stormers would have the final say in the first half.
Some great interplay between the forwards and backs saw Johan du Toit burst through a gap to score and reduce the half-time deficit to 13-10.
The home side came up with two quick tries at the start of the second half as Smith got over for his second and wing Courtnall Skosan finished off a counter-attack to make it 27-10.
The DHL Stormers responded by surging towards the tryline with several strong carries and scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies was on hand to score against the post after some hard work from the forwards.
The DHL Stormers had lost both of their locks to injury and the Emirates Lions hit back through wing Aphiwe Dyantyi to make it 34-17 on the hour mark.
The DHL Stormers kept fighting and came up with a third try as Stander took a short ball from Jean-Luc du Plessis to go over.
Despite some late pressure from the DHL Stormers as they searched for a fourth try, the Emirates Lions would have the final say with Hacjivah Dayimani getting over to seal the win.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Du Toit, Jantjies, Stander
Cons: Stander 2
For Emirates Lions:
Tries: Smith 2, Coetzee, Skosan, Dyantyi, Dayimani
Cons: Reynolds 4
DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee), 5 Cobus Wiese, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Marno Redelinghuys, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Dan Kriel.
Emirates Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Nic Groom, 23 Tyrone Green.