The Crusaders put one hand on the Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy with a 32-19 victory over the Chiefs in Hamilton.
The 10-times Super Rugby champions moved to 24 points on the table, seven ahead of the second-placed Blues, who play the Highlanders in Dunedin on Sunday.
The Crusaders lost at home to the Hurricanes last weekend and said throughout this week they were in no mood to repeat the experience against the Chiefs.
Super Rugby Aotearoa | Chiefs v Crusaders - Rd 8 Highlights— Super Rugby/TRC (@SuperRugby) August 1, 2020
The @crusadersrugby consolidated top spot in Super Rugby Aotearoa on Saturday night, overcoming a gallant yet still-winless @ChiefsRugby outfit in Hamilton.#SuperRugby #SuperRugbyAotearoa #CHIvCRU pic.twitter.com/tESs7exIrh
They raced out to a 12-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes with tries from No 8 Tom Sanders and full-back Will Jordan.
The Chiefs battled their way back into the game and closed the gap with a converted try from impressive loose forward Lachlan Boshier and a Damian McKenzie penalty.
But Crusaders captain Codie Taylor crashed over immediately after Chiefs winger Shaun Stevenson was given a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on, giving the visitors a 17-10 lead at half-time.
McKenzie slotted two penalties in the first 10 minutes of the second half to make it 17-16 but two tries in seven minutes from Sevu Reece and Leicester Fainga'anuku put the Crusaders on course for victory.
The Christchurch side host the Highlanders next Sunday before they travel to Eden Park to face the Blues in the final match of the competition on 16 August.
The Chiefs have now lost eight successive games, including all seven in the domestic competition.