The Hurricanes snatched a 47-50 double bonus victory from the Cheetahs with a try in the final minute in Bloemfontein.
Cheetahs scrum-half Sarel Pretorius scored three tries for a hat-trick in the match which saw 11 tries in total scored by both teams - and three bonus points from the match.
Both teams secured bonus points for scoring four or more tries but the Cheetahs also picked up a bonus point for finishing within 7 points of the winner.
It is not everyday that a team scores 47 points and loses but finishes within three points of the winner.
The match was played at a frenetic pace and Hurricanes secured their bonus point after 25 minutes.
The Cheetahs however stayed in touch through penalties and a two drop-goals from Sias Ebersohn just before half time which put the Cheetahs into a 33-30 lead at the break.
Ebersohn went on to score a total of 22 points in the match
The entire match was a see-saw affair and the attacking Cheetahs should have made more of their opportunities in the opening half.
Pretorius scored two of the Cheetahs's three tries before the break and was a handful for the visitors on every occasion he had the ball in his hands.
His halfback partner, Sias Ebersohn, was also in fine form, slotting two drop kicks in two minutes late in the first half to put his side six points up -- a lead that was reduced on the whistle by a penalty from Dan Kirkpatrick.
The second half saw a continuation of the hectic pace and exciting rugby that overshadowed the errors from both sides.
Hosea Gear took advantage of poor tackling by the home team to dot down a try in the 50th minute.
With an ever-changing scoreline, the Cheetahs took a 47-43 lead after an outstanding try that sealed Pretorius' hat-trick following excellent work by Riaan Viljoen, Philip Burger and Adriaan Strauss.
With the Cheetahs on attack, however, Jeremy Thrush scored a turnover try with a minute remaining to bag the win for the Hurricanes.
Final Score Cheetahs 47 Hurricanes 50
Tries - S Pretorius 3, R Smit 2
Pen - S. Ebersohn 2
Con - S Ebersohn 5
Drop - S Ebersohn 2
Tries - H Gear 2, J Lam, A Taylor, A Leiua, J Thrush
Pen - D Kirkpatrick 4
Con - D Kirkpatrick 3, B. Barrett
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nathan Pearce (Australia), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)
Cheetahs:15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Philip Burger, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Barry Geel, 11 Riaan Smit, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Ashley Johnson, 6 Kabamba Floors, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp (capt), 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Reserves: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Martin Muller, 19 Leon Karemaker, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Naas Olivier, 22 Corne Uys.
Hurricanes:1. John Schwalger ,2. Andrew Hore (c) ,3. Michael Bent ,4. Jeremy Thrush ,5. James Broadhurst ,6. Jack Lam ,7. Serge Lilo ,8. Victor Vito ,9. Tyson Keats ,10. Daniel Kirkpatrick ,11. Hosea Gear ,12. Ma'a Nonu ,13. Jayden Hayward ,14. Alapati Leiua,15. Andre Taylor
Reserves :16. Dane Coles ,17. Neemia Tialata,18. Jason Eaton ,19. Faifili Levave ,20. Chris Eaton,21. Beauden Barrett ,22. Charlie Ngatai