Nel five pointer snatches late Stormers win.
It was the hosts who opened the scoring inside eight minutes with Elton Jantjies slotting home a penalty.
JOHANNESBURG - The Lions and Stormers did battle at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday with the hosts looking for back-to-back wins while the cape side were hoping to keep their unbeaten start to the season going.
It was the hosts who opened the scoring inside eight minutes with Elton Jantjies slotting home a penalty, the first points conceded by the Stormers in this year's competition.
The Stormers weren't behind for long as Juarno Augustus crashed his way over the line.
The visitors extended their lead 10 minutes later. Scrum half Golden Masimla with a well timed interception just inside his own half and had a clean run in.
The Lions began to exert some sustained pressure on the Stormers defence with Andries Coetzee going over in the corner after some good work from the forwards.
Five minutes later and the hosts regained the lead. Courtnall Skosan profiting from a clever chip by Jantjies.
The Lions leading 15-12 with 10 minutes to go in the first half.
The Stormers had the final say of the half with Willemse slotting two penalties as the visitors took an 18-15 lead into the break.
It was a great start to the second stanza by the cape outfit, Sergel Petersen finishing off a slick back line move for his side's 3rd try of the game.
Both sides were then finding difficult to get a proper hold on the game with the play becoming scrappy.
The Lions though eventually got their first points of the half through a 5 pointer from Jantjies.
The Lions trailing 22-26 heading into the final 10 minutes.
Dan Kriel then put his stamp on the game as the center finished off a well worked move to give the Lions the lead late in the second half.
Jantjies missed the conversion as the hosts took a 1 point lead into the final 5 minutes.
Jantjies was leading from the front and ensured that the Stormers would have to score a try if they were to get anything from the game. The fly half converting a penalty from halfway to give the Lions a 30-26 advantage going into the last 3 minutes.
The Stormers did exactly that as Ruhan Nel scored in the final minute to give the visitors a hard fought 33-30 win an preserve their unbeaten start to the campaign.