The Chiefs play-off hopes are in tatters after a frustrating 33-17 defeat by the Waratahs at their home ground of Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth this evening.
The win was well deserved for the Sydneysiders and leaves the Chiefs needing to win their remaining games and hoping other results go their way.
The Waratahs dominated the first 40 minutes of an intense, physical encounter and deservedly led by 13-3 at the break.
They scored the only try of the half after a typically well-worked move, with a smart break from Adam Ashley-Cooper finished off in style by Israel Folau.
The set pieces were tight and unforgiving, with a highlight the battle between the young international openside flankers in Michael Hooper for the Waratahs and All Black Sam Cane for the Chiefs.
Cane's tackling was superb throughout but in a game of big hits, undoubtedly the one put in by 135 kilo prop Ben Tameifuna on Hooper was the standout.
The Waratahs had won all seven games they have led at halftime and that trend continued, although it looked as if the Chiefs may break that when they took the lead 19-17 with 15 minutes to play after the second try to replacement Bundee Aki.
But late tries to captain Dave Dennis and Bernard Foley put paid to those hopes.
Waratahs 33 (Israel Folau, Dave Dennis, Bernard Foley tries; Foley 3 cons, 3 pens; Kurtley Beale pen) Chiefs 17 (Bundee Aki 2 tries; Aaron Cruden 2 cons, pen)