The Brumbies have capitulated in the final quarter to lose an otherwise hard-fought Super Rugby match 43-17 to the Highlanders in Dunedin.
Well in the hunt through 60 minutes on Saturday, the Australian side conceded three tries in quick succession to notch a fourth loss in seven matches.
The winning margin was a flattering one for the hosts, whose fourth win from six leaves them fourth in the New Zealand conference but well ensconced in the top half of the overall table.
All Blacks fullback Ben Smith was the game's best attacking player, scoring two of the Highlanders' six tries.
Impressive No.8 Isi Naisarani crossed late in the first half to put the Brumbies 12-10 down at the break while reserve halfback Joe Powell notched a consolation near the end.
While it was a 34th successive win for a Kiwi team over Australian opposition, the Highlanders were given a scare for long periods.
The Brumbies boasted a superior scrum and were very effective at the breakdown, particularly through the work of flanker David Pocock.
There was a scare in the dying minutes when Pocock needed treatment after falling victim to a neck roll from Highlanders forward Elliot Dixon but the Wallabies No.7 played the remainder of the game.
Lima Sopoaga and Smith scored the Highlanders' first-half tries and their lead pushed out to 15-10 through a Sopoaga penalty just after the break.
Test No.10 Sopoaga then opened the door for the Brumbies when shown a yellow card for a lifting tackle on Tom Banks.
The visitors launched numerous raids but were let down by errors or poor options.
The game swung in the 60th minute, while the Highlanders were still down to 14 men when winger Waisake Naholo intercepted an unnecessary cut-out pass from Wharenui Hawera and raced 80m to score.
Sweeping tries to Smith and Shannon Frizell made the result safe before Fletcher Smith scored after the hooter to blow the winning margin out to the equal-biggest the Highlanders have registered against the Brumbies.
The result halts the momentum the Brumbies were hoping to build after last week's 45-21 win over the Reds.
They return to Canberra for their next three matches, starting next week against the Jaguares.