The benchmark Brumbies have restored some pride to Australian rugby with a pivotal 38-28 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton.
The Brumbies parlayed a resolute defensive display into a clinical attacking performance to consolidate second spot on the Super Rugby Pacific ladder despite the Chiefs' clear possession and territorial advantage at FMG Stadium Waikato.
The stirring win followed the table-topping Blues' 71-28 humiliation of the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night and the Highlanders scuppering Queensland's home final hopes with a 27-19 comeback over the Reds in Brisbane.
It also boosted NSW's own finals prospects, with the Waratahs joining the fourth-placed Chiefs on 32 competition points with a 26-20 triumph over Moana Pasifika in Auckland earlier on Saturday.
The Brumbies were clinging to an 18-14 lead after the two sides traded a pair of tries in an entertaining first half.
But Len Ikitau's strike two minutes after the break blew the game open, sending the Brumbies two converted tries clear.
The buffer proved enough despite powerhouse No.8 Pita Gus Sowakula briefly reducing the deficit to seven points with a try in the 57th minute.
Finishing hooker Billy Pollard sealed the deal nine minutes from time as the Brumbies chalked up their fourth win from their past five trips to New Zealand to once again showcase their title credentials.
The last time the ACT outfit enjoyed a longer winning run against their vaunted trans-Tasman rivals was a three-match winning streak eight years ago.
Chiefs 28 (Alex Nankivell, Cortez Ratima, Pita Gus Sowakula, Naitoa Ah Kuoi tries: Bryn Gatland 2, Kaleb Trask 2 cons) Brumbies 38 (Nic White, Folau Fainga’a. Len Ikitau, Billy Pollard tries: Noah Lolosio 3 cons: Noah Lolosio 4 pens) HT: 14-18
Chiefs (1-15): Aidan Ross, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Angus Ta’avao, Josh Lord, Tupou Vaa’i, Luke Jacobson, Sam Cane ©, Pita Gus Sowakula, Cortez Ratima, Bryn Gatland, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Quinn Tupaea, Alex Nankivell, Jonah Lowe, Kaleb Trask
RESERVES: Bradley Slater, Ollie Norris, Atu Moli, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Samipeni Finau, Xavier Roe, Rameka Poihipi, Emoni Narawa
Brumbies (1-15): James Slipper, Folau Fainga’a, Sefo Kautai, Darcy Swain, Cadeyrn Neville, Rob Valentini, Jahrome Brown, Pete Samu, Nic White ©, Noah Lolosio, Andy Muirhead, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Tom Wright, Tom Banks
RESERVES: Billy Pollard, Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Nick Frost, Tom Hooper, Rory Scott, Ryan Lonergan, Ollie Sapsford
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Referees: Ben O’Keeffe, Angus Mabey