A stunning haka performed by the Chiefs after Saturday night's Super Rugby final was specially written for the team back in February and kept up their sleeves for the big occasion.
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie said the team had worked with Huntly's Ora Kihi from the cultural group from Te Wharekura O Rakaumanga School that performs at all the franchise's home games, Chiefs Toa, to come up with a haka that embodied all their values and ideals.
They have worked on it when time has permitted and practised it regularly in the last few weeks.
It will now become the Chiefs' personal haka, used for special occasions within the team and brought out in public occasionally for big events such as Saturday night's final.
"We asked them to design a haka in and around all our standards and values back in February," Rennie said.
"So we've had it on the back burner all the time and we talked about maybe learning it at various times but it's so hard to slot some of this stuff in."
They finally used their last bye week to put it together and have been fine tuning it ever since.
"It's been really good for us. The boys are passionate about it, there are really strong Maori themes throughout and they have really grasped it well."
Rennie said it would be performed in house at times when players leave and special occasions.
"It may be done in front of a crowd every now and then, but it's certainly not something we're trying to do every week," he said.
Kihi is a teacher at Rakaumanga as well as the leader of the Toa group which is made up of past and present students.
The Chiefs have in turn supported the group's efforts on the competition scene, watching them perform in rehearsal and halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow attending the national competition to back them.
- Waikato Times