The Crusaders fell short in their bid to reach the Trans-Tasman showpiece match, which will be contested by the Blues and Highlanders.
The Blues and the Crusaders made it four wins from four in their Super Rugby Trans-Tasman campaigns by beating the Reds and Western Force.
The Chiefs did their best to produce a stunning comeback, but the Reds held on to secure a hard-fought victory.
Richie Mo'unga shone as the Crusaders, winners of Super Rugby Aotearoa, thrashed Australian champions the Reds in their Trans Tasman clash.
Tense finishes went in the favour of the Crusaders and the Chiefs in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, while the Blues were emphatic victors.
Richie Mo'unga won his kicking battle with Damian McKenzie as the Crusaders triumphed in the Super Rugby Aotearoa title match.
Will Jordan scored a double and Codie Taylor got another as the Crusaders confirmed top spot and a home final.
Just one point separated the sides in Hamilton, with Damian McKenzie's late penalty sending the Chiefs into second place.
David Havili's drop goal earned the Crusaders a dramatic golden-point victory over the Hurricanes on Sunday.
A Super Rugby loss came as a significant shock to the Crusaders, but it was a familiar feeling for Waratahs as they fell short again.