Hurricanes boss Chris Boyd couldn't hide his delight after his side secured a 21-13 win over the Chiefs in New Plymouth on Saturday.
The victory was extra special as the Wellington-based franchise secured the result despite playing without several first-choice players, including All Black centre Ma'a Nonu, lock James Broadhurst and fly-half Beauden Barrett.
"We were happy to win obviously but more than that we were really happy with the performance as well," said Boyd.
The Hurricanes fought back from a 13-0 deficit before a penalty try and another five-pointer from Conrad Smith late in the first-half secured them a 14-13 lead at the interval.
Boyd agreed that the penalty try – after Tom Marshall was yellow carded for a no-arms tackle on Julian Savea – played a significant part in his side's revival.
The win means that the 'Canes have a break ahead of the semi-finals which take play in a fortnight. Hurricanes skipper Smith said the rest came at just the right time.
"It's been a long nine weeks which is a pretty decent stretch and I think the last five games have been against New Zealand opposition and they have been pretty tough in their own way," he remarked.
Smith was heartened by the way his side played, especially as they were already secured of their place in the tournament's Finals Series.
"You just want to win rugby games and that's the way we approached the game," he added.
"The way we played you would not have known it was a dead rubber."