Chiefs demolish Sharks to win maiden Super Rugby title


The Waikato Chiefs powered to their first ever Super Rugby title on Saturday with a sparkling 37-6 win over the Sharks in Hamilton.

Keegan Daniel of the Sharks is tackled by Kane Thompson of the Waikato Chiefs during the Super 15 rugby union final match at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton. (Marty Melville, AFP)

The Chiefs lived up to their billing as the most entertaining side in this season's championship and also matched the hardworking South African forwards to bury memories of their final humiliation to the Bulls three years ago.

Tim Nanai-Williams, Kane Thompson, Lelia Masaga and Sonny Bill Williams touched down as the Chiefs made light of difficult conditions at Waikato Stadium, running the ball whenever possible and kicking intelligently.

The Chiefs' become the sixth winners in 17 seasons of Super Rugby competition, while the Sharks looked drained by a third straight playoff away from home and have now lost all four of their final appearances.

The top New Zealand side were more clinical and made fewer errors than the Sharks, leading 13-3 at half-time and outscoring the South Africans four tries to nil.

A combination of wet ground conditions and close marking made it difficult for the Sharks to unleash their usual go-to man JP Pietersen who saw little action.

The Chiefs become the sixth side to win a Super championship following the Canterbury Crusaders (seven titles), Northern Bulls (three), Auckland Blues (three), ACT Brumbies (two), and Queensland Reds (one). - Reuters/AFP

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