ESPN SCRUM

/ Super Rugby 2014

/ Story

Super Rugby
Dave Rennie hails Chiefs' Maori heritage
ESPN Staff
February 17, 2014
Chiefs fly-half Aaron Cruden celebrates victory with a Maori warrior, Chiefs v Sharks, Super Rugby Final, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand, August 4, 2012
Dave Rennie attributes the Chiefs' success to their understanding of their region's Maori history © Getty Images
Enlarge

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie says the Chiefs' understanding of their Maori history and background have added strength to the back-to-back Super Rugby champions.

The players contributed to the team development of a strong culture in 2012, acknowledging the side's links with the region, its Maori heritage and those who had gone before, and the Chiefs moved from ninth place to claim two title wins.

Looking upon the heritage for inspiration, Rennie believes the side adopts the values of legendary Maoris - the brutality, ruthlessness and intelligence - and employs them in attack and defence.

"You hope for success but it comes from hard work, selection and an understanding of who we are and what we represent is important [our Maori background]," Rennie told ESPNscrum "Innovation [is key]. We have a group with high expectations but you can't win championships without hard work and that recipe won't change.

Rennie has attributed the region's Maori roots to bringing the side together, saying they have created a personal meaning for the team in terms of what the "Chiefs" stand for. The Chiefs then have drawn strength from their heritage, creating a new team logo and a team haka that has a special meaning for the side.

Maori chants and phrases are also used to bring the side together, Rennie said. The battle cry "paoa", meaning 'to strike or attack' is something they believe represents their team. Rennie also believes the Tainui saying "he piko he taniwha" - 'around every bend is a taniwha' - represents the Chiefs in defence.

With a successful pre-season completed, the Chiefs are settled in for the season ahead under the pressure of attempting three titles in a row. Rennie has been impressed with his side's performances, particularly their form against the Blues, but they will have to make do without Sam Cane.

"I am really happy with the squad we have assembled," Rennie told ESPNscrum. "It is full of character and depth. It's hard every year, as this is a tough competition, so we work hard every year to be better than the previous year."

The Chiefs hit the ground running this season, with their opening match against seven-time champions Crusaders, whom Rennie believes are major contenders for the title.

"The Crusaders, they are full of All Blacks and are tough but there are many other sides with the ability to win."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Chinese GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Snooker - China Open
    Tennis - Miami Open
  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Rugby

    Jerome Kaino re-signs with New Zealand Rugby

    All Blacks back-rower Jerome Kaino has bucked the trend of many of his Test team-mates and opted to re-sign with New Zealand Rugby through to the end of 2018.

  • Rugby

    Super Rugby flavour to New Zealand Under 20s

    New Zealand have named seven Super Rugby-contracted players in their Under-20 squad for a key warm-up tournament ahead of the Junior World Championship

  • Football

    'Nice guy' Van Gaal insists he is a flexible manager

    Louis van Gaal is adamant he is no dictator - as Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney described his manager as a nice guy

  • Rugby

    Breakdown confusing: New Zealand Rugby chief

    New Zealand officials want greater clarity about the breakdown, for both fans and players, as part of World Rugby's post-World Cup review of the Laws of the Game

  • Rugby

    Hughes set to face disciplinary panel after North clash

    Nathan Hughes will appear before a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel on Tuesday following the incident which saw the Wasps forward sent off and Northampton's George North taken off on a stretcher last Friday

  • News
  • Features

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income