Fans watched from rooftops as the Drua made their first-ever appearance in the competition in Lautoka, Fiji's second-largest city, with more than 11,000 fans in attendance who were treated to a thriller that almost ended in a home victory.
The Chiefs led 21-7 at half-time, before withstanding a second-half Fijian comeback to hold on for a nail-biting 35-34 victory.
The Chiefs were made to sweat as a 22-point lead was whittled down to a solitary point over the final 10 minutes and the Drua, buoyed by the crowd, gave the Waikato side a fright.
The Drua's performance was one of the highlights of the Super Rugby Pacific season with three late tries and a length-of-the-field classic.
Kalaveti Ravouvou capped the remarkable length-of-the-field try in the 67th minute, Vinaya Habosi picking up possession on his own line before evading five challenges to offload to Ravouvou, who raced to the other end of the pitch.
Vota then added his second with five minutes remaining following a quickly taken penalty while Timoci Sauvoli burst through to touch down with a barely a minute remaining in a frantic finale.
And while Teti Tela kicked the conversion - his fourth of the game in addition to two penalties - to give the Fijian hope as the hooter sounded, the Chiefs held on.