Two tries from prop Ben Tameifuna helped the Chiefs to a 32-20 victory over the Blues in New Plymouth on Friday.
The burly front-ranker also won a number of scrum penalites in a yet another standout performance by a prop in recent weeks.
It was the Blues, though, that drew first blood with a Lolagi Visinia try following a deft offload from Ma'a Nonu in the build-up.
The Chiefs hit back through Tameifuna, the big man lurking on the wing and crashing over in the corner. A well-worked try from Tim Nanai-Williams followed as the Chiefs went into the break with a comfortable 20-13 lead.
Tameifuna grabbed his second just after the break, going over from close range for a more conventional forwards' try. Tom Marshall then grabbed the bonus-point try as the Chiefs threatened to cut loose.
A yellow card for Tim Nanai-Williams halted their momentum, as the Blues clawed back a try in his absence.
They hammered away in search of a losing bonus point, but the Chiefs defence stood firm to close out the five-point victory and take them level on points with the Sharks.
Chiefs – Tries: Ben Tameifuna (2), Tim Nanai-Williams, Tom Marshall. Conversions: Gareth Anscombe (3). Penalties: Anscombe (2).
Blues – Tries: Lolagi Visinia, George Moala. Conversions: Simon Hickey (2). Penalties: Hickey (2).
Chiefs – 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Dwayne Sweeney, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Messam (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Subs: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Matt Symons, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.
Blues – 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 George Moala, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Lolagi Visinia, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 James Parsons, 17 Sam Pratley, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Kane Barrett, 21 Piri Weepu , 22 Ihaia West, 23 Pita Ahki.
Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images