The Hurricanes delivered a reminder of their Super Rugby Pacific credentials with a 32-27 win over fellow finals-aspirants the Brumbies in Wellington on Saturday.
Both teams scored four tries but Jordie Barrett's extra points with the boot proved the difference in an intense match between two teams stationed in the competition top four.
Up 17-14 at the interval, tries to halves Cam Roigard and Aidan Morgan pushed the home side clear before Brumbies winger Corey Toole gave his side a glimmer of hope with a late try.
Loose forwards Devan Flanders and Ardie Savea crossed in the first half for the Hurricanes but their efforts were cancelled out by a double for lock Nick Frost, who unleashed a sustained burst of speed in a 70m run to the line for his second try.
Hurricanes coach Jason Holland later revealed his team were spurred to victory by a desire to honour veteran winger Julian Savea, who was making his 150th appearance.
"I'm rapt with that. Winning one of those games that's a dog-fight," Holland told Sky Sport.
"In previous years we'd come out on the wrong side of that."
The Brumbies - comfortably Australia's strongest team this season - hold on to second place in the standings behind the Chiefs.
They are one point ahead of the Hurricanes, with both teams sharing the same seven win-two loss record.