Chiefs fly-half Aaron Cruden hailed the character of his team to fight back and defend their Super Rugby title in Hamilton on Saturday.
Chiefs fly-half Aaron Cruden hailed the character of his team to fight back and defend their Super Rugby title against the Brumbies in Hamilton on Saturday.
The 2012 champions had to fight back after being put under huge pressure by the Brumbies for three-quarters of the match.
“The Brumbies really tested us in the first 60 minutes and we had our backs against the wall,” said Cruden.
“But as a good Chiefs team does, we came out fighting and were able to get home in the end. It's massive (getting successive titles). It's a goal we set right at the start of the year.
“To come through the journey that we have and succeed in achieving that goal is pretty satisfying.”
The All Blacks pivot couldn't explain his indifferent goal-kicking performance which nearly cost his side the match.
Cruden missed an easy penalty in the 18th minute before succeeding with three penalties which drew his side level at 9-9. Another wayward penalty from the All Black in the second half and his inability to convert Liam Messam's 64th minute try meant the Chiefs were trailing 22-17 in the final quarter.
He held his nerve, however, and converted Robbie Robinson's try five minutes later before slotting a penalty in the 75th minute which completed his side's comeback.
“It's been a tricky old season to be fair,” said Cruden of his goal-kicking.
“I was just stoked to see the last couple go through the posts.
“As a kicker you just have to try and kick your way through the bad times and hopefully a few go through the posts which the last couple did.”