What a weekend, what a year.
Who cares if it's Monday. After the weekend we've had, Waikato people should be walking into work as if they own the place.
Waikato is the envy of the country.
Thanks to the Chiefs and the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic we are double champions in two massively demanding trans-Tasman tournaments.
Throw in the heroic Olympic rowers - the genius of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, the talent and indefatigable determination of Mahe Drysdale and you have the complete package.
Chiefs' fans have been a long-suffering lot who have had to settle too long for mediocrity.
Even as the Chiefs entered the playoffs stage it was hard to believe, based on history, that they would be able to finish the job.
But with a new coach came a new hard edge to the forward pack and a new self-belief.
Strangulation was how deputy sports editor Ian Anderson described the 37-6 shut-out of the Sharks during the waikatotimes.co.nz website's live coverage of the Super Rugby final on Saturday night. It was very apt.
After a nervous start the Chiefs took control of the game and in the second half, through the boot of Aaron Cruden and a bullish forward pack, the Chiefs ran away with the game. There was never any doubt about the flair in the Chiefs backs and, given room, they delivered through Tim Nanai-Williams, Lelia Masaga and Sonny Bill Williams who appropriately dotted down right at the end and ran into the crowd for a triumphant embrace.
The Sharks' tank was empty, such is the challenge for sixth qualifiers who have to travel. There can be no complaints about that. There has to be some reward for finishing first in the round robin.
The Chiefs this year were simply awesome.
And let's not forget the incredible Magic who notched up a stunning winning streak and broke the mental bogy New Zealand teams have had across the Tasman.
Waikato has proved a point. We don't care what anyone else thinks. Next time an Aucklander or a Wellingtonian slags off the region, point them to the scoreboard.
We are Waikato. We are the best.
- © Fairfax NZ News