The Chiefs annihilated the Sharks in front of a euphoric home crowd on Saturday night to secure their first ever Super Rugby title, running away with the game in emphatic style, 37-6.
It was the visitors, on the back of some red-hot form, that started the stronger of the two combatants, scoring first through the boot of first-five Freddie Michalak and initially looking the more organised of the two sides on defense.
But the Chiefs were patient, showing a willingness to chip away, and eventually the pressure from their star players told. By the time the home side scored their first try, in the 20th minute, they had begun breaking the Sharks defensive line at will, swinging the ball from side to side across the park, and recycling quickly and efficiently.
While the Sharks fought bravely they lacked the inventiveness to breach the Chiefs own defense, which was quick off the line and aggressive for the full 80 minutes. Trailing 13-3 at the break it was only 6 minutes before the Sharks conceded the first try of the second spell, and from there it was all downhill.
The Chiefs scored two more tries, the last to Sonny Bill Williams, who summed up the party atmosphere at Rugby Park by leaping over the hoardings to embrace members of the crowd after dotting down. The Chiefs became the first New Zealand side to lift the trophy since 2008, banishing memories of a record defeat in South Africa to the Bulls in 2009 final.