Chiefs captain Craig Clarke has praised his team's defence in their 21-27 victory over the Highlanders in Dunedin.
The Chiefs led throughout the match, scoring first-half tries through winger Tim Nanai-Williams and fullback Robbie Robinson to take an 18-9 lead at halftime.
Clarke described the match as a "typical spirited local derby" that was tinged with an edge of ill-feeling.
"It's very tough getting a victory down in Dunedin," Clarke said.
"What pleased me the most was probably the hardened defence towards the end when they were chasing the game. "
"They were playing a very wide game and we stayed in the system and made some tackles."
Clarke said Robinson's try two minutes before halftime was crucial as the Chiefs repelled a strong Highlanders challenge.
"It was pretty big for us because we didn't have the ball much in that first half and did a lot of defending, gave away a lot of penalties and so to get a break like that just before halftime was pleasing," Clarke said.