It's easy to overlook, given the consistency of their results since, but Dave Rennie's overhaul of the Chiefs must be one of the great feats in Super Rugby.

The coach's tenure came to an unhappy end in Christchurch on Saturday night but, once he begins the next chapter of his career in Glasgow, Rennie will look back on his time in Hamilton with overwhelmingly positive memories.

He took over a team, after all, with one playoff victory from two post-season appearances in 16 seasons. In the six years since, the Chiefs have won six playoff games while reaching the post-season each year, the only Super Rugby side to manage that feat from 2012 to 2017.

The Chiefs of old, New Zealand's perennial under-achievers, went through the round robin winning fewer than half their matches (averaging 5.5 victories from 11.9 games). Rennie's Chiefs, on the other hand, emerged triumphant in the regular season more than two-thirds of the time they stepped on the field (10.8 victories from 15.7 games).


They did so by improving their attack - averaging 25.3 points per game pre-Rennie and 27.7 during his stint - and by amending their defence - from conceding 25.8 points per game to 21.6 - to record a positive points differential in each of Rennie's seasons after recording only six in the previous 16 years.

Whatever way the results are assessed, Rennie's impact at the Chiefs was immense, and that's without even factoring in the two titles he collected in his first two seasons.

"I've loved it - they're great men and we've put ourselves in a position to win titles every year," Rennie said of his time at the franchise. "It would've been nice to have still been in the race next week, but the Crusaders have probably been the best team in the comp and deserve to be in [the final]."

The loss of Rennie will be keenly felt but he's far from alone in calling this season his last at the Chiefs. Aaron Cruden is heading to Montpellier in France and, having played under Rennie at Manawatu, New Zealand under-20s and the Chiefs, the pair will now meet as foes in the European Cup.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow, James Lowe, Hika Elliot and Michael Leitch are also heading off-shore but, despite the turnover, Rennie was backing Colin Cooper to continue the Chiefs' success.

"There's a massive chunk of players who are staying," he said. "Obviously losing guys like Aaron and Tawera and James Lowe, they're not easy to replace. But probably 90 per cent of the squad has re-signed - and just about the whole pack - so they'll have a really strong side and I think we'll contend again next year."