The Chiefs have snatched a last-gasp 17-12 victory over the Waratahs in a tight pre-season Super Rugby clash in Rotorua on Friday.
The home side suffered a major blow before a ball was even kicked when illness forced out captain Sam Cane and five-eighth Damian McKenzie.
Things looked even more ominous when Waratahs halfback Nick Phipps opened the scoring after five minutes, burrowing over following a lineout drive from five metres out.
The Chiefs bounced back in the 17th minute when former Warriors NRL winger Glen Fisiiahi made a break from near halfway before receiving the final pass to level the scores.
The Chiefs came to life in the second quarter when Tawera Kerr Barlow pulled off a miracle back flip pass to replacement five-eighth Charlie Ngatai.
The All Blacks halfback backed up well, going on to take the return inside ball and crash over near the posts.
The Waratahs hit back straight away when league convert Reece Robinson hared down the sideline untouched to level the scores 12-12 at halftime.
Both teams fell flat in the third stanza as the game lost its shape due to the stifling heat and a large number of substitutions.
The game appeared heading for a draw but Lalakai Foketi made the telling break to link up with Monty Ioane for the winning try.
Former All Black Zac Guildford showed some good touches in hitting and breaking the line for the Waratahs in his first Super Rugby game back in New Zealand.
The Waratahs play the Highlanders in Queenstown on Friday for their final pre-season hit-out while the Chiefs take on the Blues in Pukekohe on the same day.