As the Chiefs battled for Super Rugby supremacy at Waikato Stadium on Saturday, thieves were ransacking and burgling the home of coach Dave Rennie.
A safe containing his wife's jewellery was taken from the Rennies' North Hamilton home, which was "badly damaged" by the thieves.
"The safe was pretty small but getting it out would have been a hell of a job and they did a lot of damage in the process," Rennie told the Times yesterday. "It certainly put a dampener on the night."
The incident has sparked concern that the Chiefs are being targeted, after Sonny Bill Williams was burgled two months ago while out playing rugby.
"It is concerning," Rennie said. "Unfortunately a small percentage of our community are involved in this - but I am not going to judge the people of Hamilton on what happened [on Saturday night]; unfortunately there are people who prey on these situations."
Rennie was about to join the Chiefs at planned post-match festivities in the city when his wife Stephanie received a call from neighbours to say the ranch slider was wide open.
"I came straight home from the park and we had the police around. [The burglars] had been through all the bedrooms and ransacked everything - it was absolutely gutting and as you would appreciate my wife was very upset - and still is," Rennie said.
He believed the burglars used tools such as crowbars on windows and doors to gain access. "They certainly made a hell of a mess," he said.
After spending time with police, Rennie and his wife caught up with the Chiefs to join in the celebrations about 1am on Sunday.
"We weren't going to let this spoil the night, so we shot back and caught up with the team and worried about it in the morning."
Rennie said the stolen safe contained a number of items of jewellery that were of major significance to his wife.
"There were quite a lot of bracelets that are quite distinctive - with a bit of luck they may turn up somewhere, but right now it's gut-wrenching."
The Rennies, who purchased their home in February, had a "full house" on Saturday night including their children, who had travelled from Palmerston North for the Super 15 final.