The Reds lost the cornerstone of their scrum, tighthead Taniela Tupou midway through the first half, and the Chiefs pack took full advantage to provide the foundation for their 27-25 win.
Coach Clayton McMillan said the scrum dominance was pleasing and put that down to the training ground preparations the forwards have done throughout the season.
"Some of our work in training is harder than what we're getting at times in games," he said.
"That's not to say there aren't some bloody good scrums out there, but we don't feel like we have to play silly buggers to be rewarded at scrum time.
"We're happy to go there and challenge teams. I think the referees got it right."
While the Reds complained about calls, McMillan said the assistant referees were calling the penalties.
There was also something in the fact the Chiefs were the most disciplined team in the competition.
"There's no need to wheel when you've got a lot of confidence in your scrum. You scrum square over the ball and you be prepared to scrum for as long as a referee allows you to scrum," he said.
Part of the Chiefs' match plan was to acknowledge the Reds had a good scrum but to see if they could scrum for longer, and sometimes they hadn't been able to do that.
McMillan said although the game had been ugly, later in the season, there could be a time when they stand back and realise how important it had been to win in Brisbane.
Captain and No8 Luke Jacobson said he was proud of the way they had ground out what had been a messy win.
There was no doubt the Australian sides had lifted their games.
"There's some good competition, the Aussies are getting better and better, and us New Zealand teams definitely aren't taking them lightly. We've got to turn up and treat them like any other team, and respect them," he said.