Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder regarded his side's defensive output against the Chiefs as reminiscent of the champions of yesteryear.
Clinging on for an 18-17 win in Waikato marks a turning point in the Crusaders' season, having now won four out of their last five matches.
Blackadder underlined his pride in the performance and believed his players had found their soul.
"I just felt proud. You couldn't help but feel proud after that defensive effort," Blackadder told Fairfax News.
"I think the players have really found their heart. That was the Crusaders defence of old."
Blackadder singled out Israel Dagg for extra praise, after the All Blacks full-back played on despite a knee injury.
"We were asking Israel how he was and whether he was at risk but he wanted to stay on," added Blackadder.
"We were looking to make a substitution a couple of times and the way he played, he played us back into the game with his kicking and decision making.
"Steve Hansen has talked about him being world-class and he has proved that for us."