Chiefs fans line streets for parade

JONATHAN CARSON
Last updated 12:26 06/08/2012
FAIRFAX MEDIA

Hundreds of supporters turned out to the Chiefs victory parade in Hamilton after winning the 2012 Super Rugby title on the weekend.

Chiefs' victory parade
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ Zoom
The Chiefs celebrate their Super Rugby win with a victory parade in Hamilton.

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Chiefs co-captain Craig Clarke said the team's fans are "some of the best in the world" at a spirited victory parade in Hamilton today.

Hundreds of supporters crammed into Victoria St and Garden Place about 12:30pm to pay tribute to the Chiefs' Super Rugby title success.

Clarke thanked all of the fans for turning up in the rain and for their dedication throughout the season.

"This is very special and you guys have made it very special for us."

Mayor Julie Hardaker congratulated the team on behalf of the city.

"What you've done is absolutely fantastic," she said. "You guys have done us proud."

The event featured a rousing haka from the team, which they debuted after their final win against the Sharks on Saturday night.

It ended with Queen's 'We are the Champions' blasting over the sound system.

The champion team was treated to a raucus reception as they paraded down Hamilton's main street to the cheers of faithful fans.

Splashes of red black and yellow lined Victoria St as people surged into the city centre.

Just over a week ago, the city was celebrating the victory of the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic, after they were crowned Trans-Tasman netball champions.

Little Taylor Bjerring-Slater, 6, arrived early. He was wearing his Waikato jersey and had his face painted in Chiefs colours.

He said he was excited to see his " heroes" in the parade, especially his favourite player Sonny Bill Williams.

Children from Hamilton West school were chanting "go Chiefs" and waving signs.

Teacher Karen Lockwood said the kids "hero worship some of these guys".

The Chiefs were led by a kapa haka group as they made their way up Victoria St.

The team sat atop a flat deck truck in their jerseys, waving flags to the cheers of their loyal supporters.

Confetti and streamers fired from the truck, cowbells rang out and cheers errupted as the players waved, smiled and high-five enthusiastic kids.

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- Waikato Times

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