Chiefs captain Craig Clarke was overjoyed with his side's defensive performance in their 20-19 win over the Crusaders.
The champions will now defend their title at home next weekend against either the Bulls or the Brumbies.
A tense final quarter saw the Chiefs cling on despite a sustained barrage of attacks from the Crusaders, leaving Clarke delighted with his side's efforts.
"There was a real sense of déjà vu - they were really throwing everything at us and there was some pretty tough scrambling. We just scrambled and scrambled - there was some pretty good defence there," said Clarke to Fairfax NZ News.
"We wanted to just play footy against him. Don't let them settle into their good defensive system where they control the game.''
"[Latimer] is a real workhorse for us. He is a real catalyst for us. He hadn't trained all week, he has got a massive big bruise down his leg and epitomises what the Chiefs all are all about.''
Despite being heavily beaten by the Crusaders a few weeks ago, the Chiefs defence improved considerably much to coach Dave Rennie's delight.
"On the whole there was just some fantastic moments defensively - I'm just very proud of them. It was just a massive effort in the second half," said Rennie.