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Chiefs sink sorry Sharks
New Zealand team bury the ghost of their harrowing 2009 final loss
Waikato Chiefs thrashed the Sharks 37-6 to be crowned Super Rugby champions for the first time in the franchise's history.
On a wet night in Hamilton the Chiefs proved far too strong for their South African opponents, running in four tries without reply to bury the ghost of their 61-17 final defeat to the Bulls back in 2009.
Sonny Bill Williams marked his final game for the team by touching down in the second half and fly-half Aaron Cruden kicked 17 points.
Tim Nanai-Williams, Kane Thompson and Lelia Masaga also crossed for the Chiefs and all the Sharks could muster in reply were a pair of penalties from Frederic Michalak.
The Sharks enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges but the only reward for their early domination was a sole three-pointer by Michalak.
The Chiefs, however, began to work their way back into the game and continued to grow in confidence as the match progressed.
The first try came from a Bill Williams break that led to Nanai-Williams scoring out wide after the Chiefs recovered a Cruden chip kick.
The No.10 followed up his assist by landing the conversion and then stretched the advantage even further with two penalties, putting the Chiefs 13-3 ahead at half-time.
Hooker Mahonri Schwalger then put his side in command right at the start of the second half when the Samoan international stole the kick off from the Sharks forwards.
The Chiefs' second try came when back-rower Thompson picked up the ball at the back of an attacking scrum and ran through a gaping hole in the Sharks' defence to score.
Replacement wing Masaga put the match out of reach with 20 minutes to go when he collected a misdirected pass and neatly sidestepped Patrick Lambie, allowing him to 50 metres to the line.
Cruden added the extras and then struck a further penalty before Sonny Bill Williams, celebrated his final match for the Chiefs with a try in the closing minutes to close out the match.
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|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Bulls|
|17:10||Stormers vs Sharks|
|Friday 13th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Blues|
|11:00||Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels|
|Saturday 14th March|
|03:30||Crusaders vs Lions|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Waratahs|
|08:40||Reds vs Brumbies|
|13:00||Stormers vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Sharks|
|Friday 20th March|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Hurricanes|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Lions|
|Saturday 21st March|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Cheetahs|
|15:05||Bulls vs Western Force|
|17:10||Sharks vs Chiefs|
|Sunday 22nd March|
|05:05||Waratahs vs Brumbies|
|Friday 27th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels|
|09:00||Reds vs Lions|
|Saturday 28th March|
|05:30||Chiefs vs Cheetahs|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Stormers|
|08:40||Waratahs vs Blues|
|15:05||Sharks vs Western Force|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Lions 19 - 22 Stormers|
|Bulls 43 - 35 Sharks|
|Melbourne Rebels 15 - 20 Brumbies|
|Chiefs 40 - 16 Crusaders|
|Friday 27th February|
|Cheetahs 25 - 24 Blues|
|Western Force 13 - 42 Hurricanes|
|Highlanders 20 - 13 Reds|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Sharks 29 - 12 Lions|
|Stormers 27 - 16 Blues|
|Reds 18 - 6 Western Force|
|Highlanders 20 - 26 Crusaders|
|Friday 20th February|
|Bulls 13 - 17 Hurricanes|
|Melbourne Rebels 28 - 38 Waratahs|
|Chiefs 19 - 17 Brumbies|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Waratahs 13 - 25 Western Force|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Bulls 17 - 29 Stormers|
|Sharks 29 - 35 Cheetahs|
|Blues 18 - 23 Chiefs|
|Friday 13th February|
|Lions 8 - 22 Hurricanes|
|Brumbies 47 - 3 Reds|
|Crusaders 10 - 20 Melbourne Rebels|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com