A relentless but blunt performance from the Queensland Reds has ended in a 19-13 loss to Chiefs and all-but shredded their Super Rugby finals hopes.
Brad Thorn's men dominated large chunks of Friday's match in Hamilton yet struggled to break down a belligerent Chiefs defence, which has been the leakiest in the competition.
The match ended on an appropriate note, with a Reds drive held up over the tryline, consigning them to a third straight loss and leaving them needing a minor miracle to finish in the top eight.
Queensland haven't reached the finals since 2013, which was the last time they won a game in New Zealand.
Numbers-wise, they deserved to break that drought, forcing the Chiefs to make an astonishing 241 tackles.
Frustrated to trail 19-6 at halftime, the Reds tightened their mortgage of the ball after the break, when they were credited with 91 per cent of territory and 85 per cent possession.
However, they dearly missed rested captain Samu Kerevi, who has been a destructive attacking force at inside centre.
Reduced to one-off running, they were easily picked off by a Chiefs defence, whose only try concession was to burrowing Reds prop Taniela Tupou midway through the second half.
The Reds came close to scoring twice in the first half through forwards Angus Scott-Young and Alex Mafi but tries were disallowed for double movements.
Rare Chiefs attacking forays resulted in tries to No.8 Pita Sowakula, prop Atu Moli and winger Etene Nanai-Seturo while Bryce Hegarty slotted two penalties for the visitors.
There was a lengthy delay early in the second half when Reds prop Harry Hooper needed treatment in the neck/shoulder region and was eventually stretchered from the field. He was later cleared of serious injury.
Queensland's eighth loss from 13 games leaves them only ahead of the Sunwolves overall.
They're leapfrogged by the Chiefs, who picked up a fifth win but are also firm outsiders to reach the finals.