The Hawke's Bay Magpies stunned Canterbury 20-19 at McLean Park on Saturday night, with captain Ash Dixon scoring the game-winning try after the siren.
The strong home crowd went crazy after their star hooker scored, as the Magpies took their first win over the visitors since 1982.
Hawke's Bay had plenty of possession early, but it was Canterbury who should have opened the scoring on two separate occasions.
First five Brett Cameron missed a simple shot at goal, then wing Manasa Mataele made a mess of a breakaway opportunity, allowing Magpies pivot Lincoln McClutchie to make a cover tackle under his own posts.
It was then the Magpies' turn to burn an opportunity with 15 minutes played, knocking on after a tremendous bust from Lolagi Visinia got them within five metres of the tryline.
The wing crashed over himself a couple minutes later, but Canterbury's defence kept him from grounding the ball.
Canterbury halfback Mitchell Drummond was caught offside at the resulting scrum, allowing McClutchie to kick a penalty for the first points of the game in the 21st minute.
And the Magpies kicked on not long after, with a terrific miss pass from the first-five putting Visinia in space down the touchline to claim the opening try.
Hawke's Bay might have been disappointed to go into halftime with just a 10-point lead, having had the better of possession, territory and the set pieces.
Canterbury made them pay almost immediately in the second half, with hooker Shilo Klein scoring a try off the back of a lineout maul.
The visitors kept the hammer down, and lock Sam Darry scored under the posts to give Canterbury the lead in the 56th minute.
Just three minutes later, Canterbury wing Josh McKay scored a long-range try after a nice offload in midfield to make it 19-10.
When Hawke's Bay finally got the ball back, they made it count, with wing Jonah Lowe going over from close range after 13 good phases.
That made it game on in the final 10 minutes, with the home side trailing by less than an unconverted try.
The game looked dead after a couple of breakdown penalties to Canterbury but a massive scrum in the 80th minute gave Hawke's Bay their own penalty and a lifeline.
The Magpies went to their lineout maul 5m from the tryline, and captain Ash Dixon went over for the game-winning try, sending the crowd into raptures.
Coach Mark Ozich was proud of the way his side hung tough, particularly when the game looked gone in the dying minutes.
"To have that belief in the back end there, scrum penalty to maul penalty to then banging in a maul there at the end."
He said he was gutted just before that scrum penalty, feeling like the team had just let the chance for a big win slip.
"That's sport," Ozich said.
"Southland's a distant memory, where this team has come from."
He said members of the rural community came and spoke to the side at their captain's run yesterday about the meaning behind their limited-edition jersey, created to support farmers facing adversity.
"I thought the guys personified those values that are reflected in our farming community," Ozich said.
"That resilience, passion and courage ... the guys really delivered on that."
Hawke's Bay will play Otago at 4.35pm next Sunday at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
Hawke's Bay 20 (Lolagi Visinia, Jonah Lowe, Ash Dixon tries; Lincoln McClutchie 1/1 pen, 1/3 cons)
Canterbury 19 (Shilo Klein, Sam Darry, Josh McKay tries; Brett Cameron 0/1 pen, 2/3 cons)