The Crusaders set up a tense finish to the New Zealand Super Rugby Conference when they hammered the Chiefs 43-15 with a bonus point in Christchurch.
The Chiefs had won the two previous meetings but were completely outplayed in a match which saw Dan Carter become the first player to go past 1500 points in Super Rugby.
The current Super Rugby champions the Chiefs needed just one point in the standings to win their Conference and the result gives the Crusaders a good chance of winning the Conference.
The Chiefs play the Blues away in Auckland next weekend while the Crusaders are again at home against the Hurricanes.
The result also helps the Bulls in South Africa as they could now finish on top of the Super Rugby standings.
All Blacks captain Kieran Read made a spectacular return after a week's rest by scoring two tries and flyhalf Dan Carter kicked 18 points in the match.
Fullback Israel Dagg was another standout, scoring one try and setting up two more to dispel any concerns that he is out of form as the business end of the season looms.
But it was the overall display from the seven-time champions that will have coach Todd Blackadder purring, after his charges dominated the breakdown and set pieces.
The Crusaders' win, and the five championship points they took from the match ensure that they will be in the play offs but the final positions will go down to the final match.
The Hamilton-based Chiefs started the match 10 points ahead of the Crusaders with two regular season rounds remaining but could now be ousted from first place in New Zealand if they fail to take a point from next weekend's match against the Auckland-based Blues.
A slew of penalties against the Chiefs for breakdown infringements and Read's deeply contentious first try helped the Crusaders take a 19-8 lead to halftime after a relatively competitive first spell.
All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg scored a try immediately after halftime and made Read's second try three minutes later to turn what might have been a close match into a rout for the Crusaders.
Dagg's involvement ensured the Crusaders took the four-try bonus point they needed to keep their hopes alive of winning the conference.
The Chiefs were put on the back foot in the first half when referee Jonathan White found persistent fault with their usually adept play in contact and in the loose.
Carter kicked four penalties to put the Crusaders ahead 12-3 before Read scored under the crossbar on the stroke of halftime.
Read dashed between the posts from an attacking scrum but initially appeared to have been held up and White referred the decision on the try to the television official.
Repeated replays were not entirely conclusive due to the amount of bodies the ball had been grounded so the television referee allowed the try and the Crusaders built a decisive halftime lead.
Dagg dashed into the backline from fullback to score a try immediately after the break then made what seemed a forward pass to Read to give the Crusaders' their third try and a crushing 31-8 lead after 46 minutes.
Center Ryan Crotty dived over in the right-hand corner in the 57th to secure the vital bonus point.
Replacement Tyler Bleyendaal added the Crusaders' fifth try, from an intercept, in stoppage time.
The Chiefs scored a first-half try through winger Asaeli Tokoirotuma, briefly cutting the Crusaders' lead to 12-8. But their second try, to center Charlie Ngatai, came in the 73rd when the Crusaders had built an impregnable 36-8 advantage.
"It was nice," Read said. "We probably set a nice standard at the start of the game and we got a bit of flow on.
"It's a win but we know we have to come back again next week and do it again."
Final Score Crusaders 43 (19) Chiefs 15 (8)
Tries - K.Read 2, I,Dagg, R.Crotty, T.Bleyendaal
Pen - D.Carter 4
Con - D.Carter 3
Tries - A.Tikoirotuma, C. Ngatai
Pen - A.Cruden
Con - A.Horrell
Referee: Jonathon White
Assistant Ref 1:Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride
TMO : Glenn Newman
1. Wyatt Crockett ,2. Corey Flynn,3. Owen Franks ,4. Luke Romano ,5. Sam Whitelock , 6. George Whitelock ,7. Matt Todd,8. Kieran Read (c),9. Andy Ellis ,10. Dan Carter ,11. Zac Guildford, 12. Tom Taylor ,13. Ryan Crotty ,14. Tom Marshall , 15. Israel Dagg
Reserves 16. Ben Funnell ,17. Joe Moody ,18. Tom Donnelly ,19. Luke Whitelock , 20. Willi Heinz , 21. Tyler Bleyendaal , 22. Telusa Veainu
1.Pauliasi Manu , 2.Hika Elliot , 3.Ben Tameifuna , 4.Craig Clarke (c) , 5.Brodie Retallick , 6.Ross Filipo, 7.Sam Cane , 8.Matt Vant Leven , 9.Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10.Aaron Cruden , 11.Asaeli Tikoirotuma , 12.Bundee Aki , 13.Charlie Ngatai , 14.Patrick Osborne , 15.Robbie Robinson
Replacements : 16.Mahonri Schwalger , 17.Ben Afeaki , 18.Michael Fitzgerald , 19.Tanerau Latimer , 20.Augustine Pulu , 21.Andrew Horrell , 22.Tim Nanai-Williams.