The Highlanders have beaten the Chiefs 20-17 in Hamilton, thanks to a last-minute penalty kick from the substitute Marty Banks.
The Highlanders led 14-3 at half-time after a Patrick Osborne try five minutes before the break, but two penalty tries to the Chiefs, while the visitors' forward Joe Wheeler was in the sin-bin, gave the hosts a three-point lead.
However four missed penalties by the Chiefs - including three by their All Black Aaron Cruden - proved the difference as Banks equalised in the 77th minute, then kicked the late match-winner as the full-time hooter sounded.
Andrew Horrell eventually took over the kicking duties from Cruden, but he missed his one shot.
The Chiefs still go outright top with a bonus point, while the Highlanders move up to sixth place.
The Highlanders made nine changes to their starting side.
Also on Friday, the ACT Brumbies spoiled a try-scoring return to Super Rugby for Wallabies winger Nick 'Honey Badger' Cummins with a 27-15 bonus point victory over the Western Force at Canberra Stadium.