Chiefs pivot Aaron Cruden was happy to see his side turn effort into a key win as they beat the Hurricanes 24-16.
The playmaker kicked fourteen points and was a stand-out at Waikato Stadium in a result that gives the champions a chance of defending their crown.
Cruden's men now go to Eden Park in Auckland for a final weekend game against the Blues, with a win giving them a great chance of progressing.
"The effort's been there all year but we probably haven't put that onto the paddock. It was good to see it tonight," said Cruden after the triumph.
"There were a lot of motivating factors. Obviously, our season was on the line and we wanted to come here with our last home game at Waikato Stadium, and put in a performance our fans could be proud of.
"We wanted to get back to what we do best which is up the guts, then chuck it wide, and it worked for us tonight. There were a few doubters out there coming into the match and I guess a bit of fear among ourselves, but through fear comes courage, and the boys showed a lot of that."
Meanwhile, Hurricanes captain Jeremy Thrush lamented his side's inability to execute in attack as the defeat leaves them hoping for a miracle from elsewhere as they enter a bye.
"There was enough effort and passion but we just didn't keep our heads and execute our skills very well," revealed the powerful second-row forward following a painful defeat.
"We won our set-piece pretty well but we just didn't hold onto the ball through phases and put them under pressure."