The Western Force scored two unanswered tries to beat the champion Chiefs 18-15 in Perth.
The Force dominated the early exchanges and opened the scoring in the 13th minute when captain Matt Hodgson went over from a lineout drive.
The visitors were also dealt a blow in the 35th minute when Jamie Mackintosh was yellow-carded for collapsing a Force maul. Despite that setback, the Chiefs were up 9-8 at the break thanks to three Aaron Cruden penalties, and Gareth Anscombe extended that lead with a penalty early in the second half.
But with 14 men on the field, things went from bad to worse for the Chiefs two minutes later, when Hodgson scored his second try, after spotting a gap at a ruck close to the Chiefs' tryline.
The Chiefs spent most of the closing stages of the match camped inside the Force's half, but each of their attacks was met by superb defensive work from the hosts who held on to record a shock win.
Force – Tries: Matt Hodgson (2). Conversion: Sias Ebersohn. Penalties: Ebersohn (2).
Chiefs – Penalties: Gareth Anscombe, Aaron Cruden (4).
Force – 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Junior Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Hugh McMeniman, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Subs: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Marcel Brache.
Chiefs – 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Mils Muliaina, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Tom Marshall, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden (c), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Subs: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Tanerau Latimer, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.
Photo: Will Russell/Getty Images