The Waratahs continued both their own charge to the semis and the Chiefs' misery at home in 2010 on Saturday with a 46-19 win.
The Waratahs continued both their own charge to the Super 14 semi-finals and the Chiefs' misery at home in 2010 on Saturday with a 46-19 win.
In a match utterly dominated by the visitors, twice stringing together 20+ phases of possession, the bonus-point win was wrapped up by the first minute of the second half when Berrick Barnes – admittedly starting from a suspicious position tucked in just behind the chiefs' backs – intercepted a pass and tore away to the posts.
Offside that try may have been, but it made not one iota of difference to the result, a crushing blow at the end of a season the Chiefs will want to forget.
The 'Tahs now head back to Sydney to host the in-form Hurricanes next week, a match from which the losers will almost certainly not make it to the semi-finals while the winners will almost certainly avoid a trip to the Bulls in the semi-finals.
On this form, the 'Tahs could take it. They were dominant in every facet of play, at times mesmerising. They kicked well, they ran well and most of all, their ball retention was exceptional. After the way the Hurricanes did so well at spoiling the ball against the Reds on Friday, that ball retention will be inestimably important.
The rout started in the third minute, when Drew Mitchell chipped and jinked his way through for a superb solo try.
It took some time for the pressure to finally tell, with the Waratahs camping in the Chiefs' half for pretty much all of the opening quarter. Ben Mowen charged through on an offload for the second under the posts.
Tatafu Polota-Nau was driven over shortly before half-time for the third and Berrick Barnes continued a chequered night, having missed two of three conversions, by landing a penalty to make it 20-0 at the break.
Once Barnes had scored the fourth, the stuffing was out of the game completely.
Tim Nanai-Williams continued his good form by scoring a consolation for the Chiefs, but back came the 'Tahs, with Kurtley Beale tearing through a hole for his team's fifth and then jinking and grubbering his way through for Lachie Turner to score the sixth.
Nanai-Williams combined with Jackson Willison for another consolation score for the Chiefs and Willison added one more at the end, while the Waratahs sat back and rode out the final ten minutes.
But there was still time for Mitchell to feed replacement hooker Damien Fitzpatrick for a crowning score. What a game is in store in Sydney next week!
Man of the match: Reborn in his new position, Kurtley Beale was magnificent again
For the Chiefs:
Tries: Nanai-Williams, Willison 2
Cons: Bruce, Sweeney
For the Waratahs:
Tries: Mitchell, Mowen, Polota-Nau, Barnes, Beale, Turner, Fitzpatrick
Cons: Barnes 2, Halangahu 2
Chiefs: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Dwayne Sweeney, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Jason Hona, 10 Callum Bruce, 9 Junior Poluleuligaga, 8 Colin Bourke, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam (c), 5 Kevin O'Neill, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Nathan White, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Luke Braid, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Phil Burleigh, 22 Save Tokula.
Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Phil Waugh (c), 6 Patrick McCutcheon, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Dan Palmer/Jeremy Tilse, 18 Chris Thomson, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Daniel Halangahu, 22 Sosene Anesi.
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)