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Chiefs smash Sharks to win first Super Rugby title

Tim Nanai-Williams scores the first try of the 2012 Super Rugby final

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Article Published: Saturday 4 August 2012|

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The Chiefs smashed the Sharks 37-6 in the 2012 Super Rugby final held at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton to win their first Super Rugby title.

The Sharks scored the first points of the match but aside from the early lead the Chiefs dominated the match and were deserved winners of their title.

Super Rugby's new Champions the Chiefs outscored the Sharks by four tries to nil but the final was won by the Chiefs impeccable defence.

The result means that the Sharks have now gone four games in a row without scoring a try against the Chiefs.

The travel factor finally caught up with the Sharks having flown for the finals from Durban to Brisbane, then back to Cape Town and then to Sydney and Hamilton for the Grand Final.

The Sharks will now face an almost immediate bus ride to Auckland where they fly back to South Africa as many players will feature for the Natal Sharks in the Currie Cup back at Newlands next weekend.

The Chiefs were more clinical and made fewer errors than the Sharks on a wet Hamilton night, running up a 13-3 lead by half-time and outscoring the South Africans four tries to nil.

They become only the sixth different side to win the crown in the 17-year history of the tough championship which features the best from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, the three top-ranked nations in the world.

The Chiefs, with only a handful of experienced players in their squad, were largely written off at the start of the season but proved the pundits wrong by winning the New Zealand conference and finishing second on the table.

The Chiefs started the final as the fresher side, having had the luxury of being at home for the past three weeks while the Sharks had an arduous travel schedule, and it showed as they ran away with the game.

The Sharks did enjoy the better of the opening exchanges after a JP Pietersen kick drilled the Chiefs into the corner and Ryan Kankowski stole the lineout.

But their only reward was a sole penalty by Frederic Michalak before the Chiefs began to work their way into the game with superior forward power and a more accurate kicking game.

A 10-minute period of relentlessly testing the Sharks' defence ended when the Chiefs recovered an Aaron Cruden chip kick and a Sonny Bill Williams' break led to Tim Nanai-Williams scoring wide out.

Cruden landed the conversion and two penalties after the du Plessis brothers Jannie and Bismarck both infringed to have the Chiefs ahead 13-3 at half-time.

Chiefs hooker and Samoan international Mahonri Schwalger put his side in command at the start of the second half when he stole the kick off from the Sharks forwards.

From an attacking scrum, backrower Kane Thompson was able to pick up the ball and run through a huge gap to score the Chiefs' second try.

Replacement wing Lelia Masaga put the match firmly in the Chiefs' grasp with 20 minutes remaining when he snapped up a misdirected Keegan Daniel pass and raced 50 metres to the line, stepping deftly around Patrick Lambie on the way.

Cruden landed the conversion and a further penalty before Sonny Bill Williams, in his final match for the Chiefs, capped off the scoring with a try in the closing minutes which he followed with a celebratory dive into the crowd.

Other winners of a Super Rugby title are the Crusaders (seven titles), Bulls (three), Blues (three), Brumbies (two), and Reds (one).

SANZAR CEO Greg Peters extended his congratulations to the Chiefs.

"On behalf of SANZAR and its member Unions I would like to congratulate the Chiefs on claiming the 2012 Super Rugby trophy, and thank both the Chiefs and the Sharks for contributing an exciting Super Rugby Final and wrapping up what has been a fantastic season," Peters said.

Liam Messam who has won 10 caps for the All Blacks won man of the match.

Final Score Chiefs 37 (13) Sharks 6 (3)

Scorers

Chiefs
Tries - T. Nanai-Williams, K. Thompson, L. Masaga, S.Bill Williams
Pen - A. Cruden 3
Con - A. Cruden 4
Drop -
Cards -

Sharks
Tries -
Pen - F. Michalak 2
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee:
Steve Walsh
Assistant Ref 1:Craig Joubert
Assistant Ref 2:Keith Brown
TMO : Garratt Williamson

Teams

Chiefs

1. Sona Taumalolo, 2. Mahonri Schwalger, 3. Ben Tameifuna, 4. Craig Clarke (c), 5. Brodie Retallick, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Tanerau Latimer, 8. Kane Thompson, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Andrew Horrell, 14. Tim Nanai-Williams, 15. Robbie Robinson.

Replacements: 16. Hika Elliot, 17. Ben Afeaki, 18. Michael Fitzgerald, 19. Sam Cane, 20. Brendon Leonard, 21. Jackson Willison, 22. Lelia Masaga.

Sharks

1. Tendai Mtawarira, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 4. Willem Alberts, 5. Anton Bresler, 6. Keegan Daniel (c), 7. Marcell Coetzee, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 9. Charl McLeod, 10. Frederic Michalak, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 12. Paul Jordaan, 13. JP Pietersen, 14. Louis Ludik, 15. Patrick Lambie.

Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Steven Sykes, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Jean Deysel, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Riaan Viljoen.

 
 
 
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