The Chiefs claimed their first Super Rugby title with a resounding 37-6 victory over the Sharks in Hamilton on Saturday.
The home side outscored the Sharks by four tries to nil to construct a clinical victory that was built on their abrasive defence and territorial dominance.
The Sharks started brightly and were first to score when Frederic Michalak knocked over an early penlty, but those were to be their only points of the opening half as the Chiefs took control and exerted the pressure.
The home side showed great ball control in the wet conditions and pinned the Sharks back in their own half with some accurate kicking which kept the visitors on the back foot.
A sustained attack eventually saw the determined Sharks defence stretched out wide and right wing Tim Nanai-Williams got over for a try on the left to give his side the lead.
Two penalties from the boot of Aaron Cruden gave the Chiefs a handy 13-3 buffer going into the break and the Sharks had it all to do in the second half.
The travel-weary visitors could not get any momentum going as the Chiefs defence consistently forced them backwards and that pressure told in the form of three second-half tries.
The Sharks had no reply for the Chiefs' intensity as Kane Thompson and Lelia Masaga got over the whitewash before Sonny Bill Williams capped off a dominant performance by going under the poles for a late try.
More to follow...
For the Chiefs:
Tries: Nanai-Williams, Thompson, Masaga
Cons: Cruden 4
Pens: Cruden 3
For the Sharks:
Pens: Michalak 2
Chiefs: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Andrew Horrell, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Jackson Willison, 22 Lelia Masaga.
Sharks: 15 Patrick Lambie, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Riaan Viljoen.
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa, Keith Brown (New Zealand)
TMO: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
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