The DHL Stormers made it six consecutive wins this season with a 34-26 victory against the previously unbeaten Chiefs at DHL Newlands on Saturday.
It was the first defeat of the season for the visitors who were outscored by four tries to three in an epic encounter that had a packed crowd at DHL Newlands on the edge of their seats throughout.
The home side made the perfect start as they marched into Chiefs territory and showed good patience before No.8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe went over in the corner for the opening try.
However, the DHL Stormers were reduced to 14 men soon afterwards when flank Cobus Wiese was shown a yellow card for a late tackle.
The Chiefs got on the scoreboard with a penalty from Aaron Cruden and they followed that up with a try from right wing Tony Pulu to take a 10-7 lead after 15 minutes of intense action.
They did not have that lead for long though as the DHL Stormers worked themselves into a great position before captain Siya Kolisi forced his way over from close range to put his team 14-10 up.
The Chiefs responded with a penalty from fullback Damian Mckenzie and they were back in front before long as Pulu crossed for his second try to make it 18-14.
The DHL Stormers hit back with a long-range penalty from fullback SP Marais and then took the lead again after the half-time siren had gone as flyhalf Rob du Preez went over for their third try following some great work up front from the forwards.
The DHL Stormers were first to strike in the second half with another penalty from Marais and the Chiefs responded with a penalty of their own from Cruden to make it 27-20.
The next try came from a slick counter-attack as Cheslin Kolbe hacked the ball ahead for Dillyn Leyds who produced an unbelievable offload from the ground to put Marais over for the try as DHL Newlands erupted.
The Chiefs got there third try through left wing James Lowe who scored in the corner to reduce the deficit to 34-26 with 20 minutes left to play.
The final stages were frantic, but the DHL Stormers defence held out well to secure a memorable win in the end.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Notshe, Kolisi, Du Preez, Leyds
Cons: Du Preez 4
Pens: Marais 2
Tries: Pulu 2, Lowe
Pens: Cruden 2, Mckenzie
DHL Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Cobus Wiese, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Eben Etzebeth (vice-captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Dan Kriel.
Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Stephen Donald, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Mitchell Brown, 21 Alex Nankivell, 22 Sam McNicol, 23 Shaun Stevenson.