Cape Town - The table-topping Hurricanes came from behind to beat the Chiefs in at Yarrow Stadim in New Plymouth on Saturday.
The Chiefs settled well and started the match far stronger than their visitors in a match where the Chiefs needed to scored four tries to have any chance of overtaking the Highlanders on the overall table.
The home side duly took the lead as Bryce Heem cruised to score the game's first try.
Marty McKenzie added the extras before extending the Chiefs lead to 13 with two penalties before the Hurricanes stormed back into the contest.
The Hurricanes led at 14-13 the break following two quick tries late in the half. First, the Hurricanes were awarded a penalty try following a no-arms tackle by Tom Marshall, who was sent to the sin bin as a result, as Julian Savea attempted to score in the corner.
The Hurricanes then quickly made their numerical advantage count as a quick, flowing attack saw Conrad Smith cross the Chiefs try-line which James Marshall converted to give the visitors the lead.
The Chiefs gave up a shot at goal late in the first half as they attempted to set up a driving maul from the lineout but their attack soon fizzled out and half time was called following a knock on by the Chiefs, who were five metres out from the 'Canes line.
The Chiefs fell further behind when James Marshall scored an intercept try under the poles which he duly converted.
The Hurricanes soaked up the pressure from the Chiefs for much of the second half as neither side could find away to break down the defence.
The Chiefs loss means that they finish the table in fifth place and will face the Highlanders in Dunedin in the playoff stage.
The Hurricanes win means the team end the regular season with 14 wins from 16 matches.
Tries: 15' Bryce Heem
Conversion: 17' Marty McKenzie
Penalties: 26' Marty McKenzie, 30' Marty McKenzie
Tries: 34' Penalty Try, 37' Conrad Smith, 53' James Marshall
Conversion: 35' James Marshall, 38' James Marshall, 54' James Marshall
15 Tom Marshall, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 James Lowe/Hosea Gear, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Michael Leitch, 6 Liam Messam (captain), 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Quentin MacDonald, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Substitutes: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Jamie Mackintosh, 19 Michael Fitzgerald, 20 Mitchell Crosswell, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Damian McKenzie
15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 James Marshall, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Abbott, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes
Substitutes: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 James Broadhurst, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Frae Wilson, 22 Willis Halaholo, 23 Sam McNicol