Planet Rugby

Easy does it for super Chiefs

04th August 2012 07:49

Share:

Tim Nanai Williams chiefs v sharks

Opening try: Tim Nanai-Williams

The Chiefs were crowned Super Rugby champions for the first time after brushing aside the toothless Sharks 37-6 in a one-sided final at Hamilton's Waikato Stadium on Saturday.

Whilst the hosts were deserved winners and full value for their win, the Sharks were always going to be at a significant disadvantage following their taxing travelling schedule - their last stop ultimately proving to be a bridge too far for the visitors.

Besides the opening 20 minutes of the game, the season finale was sadly a mis-match as the Chiefs outplayed their travel-weary South African counterparts in all facets of play. All the Sharks had to do was turn up and the Chiefs did the rest.

There wasn't any anxious moments as you would expect in a final compared to last week's two nerve-racking encounters. Instead, relaxed Chiefs fans could sit back and watch their team dismantle the opposition.

Tries by Tim Nanai-Williams, Kane Thompson, Lelia Masaga and Sonny Bill Williams ensured that the Chiefs were always well clear of their opponents.

Fly-half Aaron Cruden delivered another stunning performance and he too ensured that his side stayed in control of proceedings by knocking over all four conversions and three penalties, while the Sharks' only replies came from the boot of fly-half Frederic Michalak.

The French international was not as hot as he was during the play-offs and semis, whilst the returning Patrick Lambie also failed to hit the mark.

Tactically the Sharks dished up their poorest showing of the season while their normally solid defence crumbled as the match wore on. Then there were also a number of unforced errors that added to the team's frustration, and the previously dominant Sharks forwards were put through their paces by a powerhouse Chiefs pack.

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 line-out. But their only reward was a sole penalty by 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 Chiefs centre Andrew Horrell recovered a Cruden chip kick knocked on by Lambie, and a Williams' break led to Tim Nanai-Williams scoring out wide.

Cruden landed the touchline 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 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, number eight 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 Lambie on the way.

Cruden landed the conversion and a further penalty before 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.

Man of the match: Tough one! The Chiefs back three were always in the thick of it, while prop Sona Taumalolo was once again a bull-dozer on attack. But the official gong went to co-captain Liam Messam after the match, and we find it pretty hard to argue with that choice.

Moment of the match: It has to be SBW's leap of joy into the home crowd after scoring his try. A sight to behold and one never seen before as far as we can recall in the beautiful game...

Villain of the match: No yellow or red cards shown, but Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna can thank his lucky stars after his high hit on Ryan Kankowski wasn't picked up by the officials.

The scorers:

For Chiefs:
Tries: Nanai-Williams, Thompson, Masaga, Williams
Cons: Cruden 4
Pens: Cruden 3

For 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 (c), 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 Pat Lambie, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (c), 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 Jean Deysel, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Riaan Viljoen.

Referee: Steve Walsh

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Preview
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs Manawatu09:35
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay04:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato09:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00