The Brumbies secured only a second win for an Australian franchise in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, stunning the Hurricanes.
Jordie Barrett missed two late penalties as the Hurricanes lost their 100 per cent Super Rugby Trans-Tasman record, slipping to a 12-10 defeat to the Brumbies after the Highlanders had hammered the Waratahs.
The Hurricanes' hopes of reaching the final were rocked at GIO Stadium, where the Brumbies held on to secure their first win of the competition on Saturday.
Brumbies scrum-half Ryan Lonergan crossed for the opening try in Canberra, but Jason Holland's side led 10-7 at half-time courtesy of a Dane Coles score and five points from the boot of Barrett.
Len Ikitau put the Brumbies back in front with their second try 12 minutes after the break and the visitors had a late Alex Fidow try ruled out for a knock-on.
Barrett was then off target with a penalty from the halfway line in the closing stages and the New Zealand international was unable to win it from the tee with the last kick of the game.
A second victory for an Australian franchise in the tournament leaves the beaten Hurricanes in fourth place and looking likely to miss out on a place in the final, with just one game of the regular season to come, which is against the Reds next Friday.
A ruthless Highlanders team had no such trouble in Dunedin, thrashing the struggling Waratahs 59-23 to sit in second place - a point behind the Blues and ahead of the Crusaders on points difference.
They ran away with it in the second half, scoring 26 points without reply after going in at the interval with a 33-23 advantage.
There were doubles for Ethan de Groot and Jona Nareki in a nine-try rout, while Mitch Hunt booted 14 points.