HAMILTON are officially the best team in the 150-year history of the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union.
The Hawks stormed past a gallant but out-gunned Wanderers 36-7 at No.2 Sportsground on Saturday to claim a record fifth straight premiership.
The win took Hamilton past a Cyril Burke-led Waratahs, who won four consecutive titles from 1950.
It also completed a clean sweep of the major and minor premierships and Hawthorne Cup.
Hamilton captain Steve Lamont said the enormity of the achievement hadn't sunk in.
"To win five was always in the back of the mind," he said. "You don't focus on it leading into a grand final. That was such a hard game.
"I don't think the score reflected how hard it was out there. We just kept on going and going from player one to fifteen. When the going gets tough, there are always a handful of players who step it up a notch."
As they have done time and time again, Hamilton simply wore the opposition down.
Scottish metre-eater Jason Hill and wrecking-ball hooker Chris Ale continually punched holes in the defensive line.
The Hawks' scrum worked through the gears and had the Two Blues in reverse by the end.
Once in the 22m, the forwards kept knocking on the door with one-out runners and surges from the back of the ruck until they charged through it.
Four of their five tries - two to lock Joe Akkersdyk and one each to Steve Lamont and fly-half Dane Sherratt - were scored from five metres or closer.
Hill collected the John Hipwell Medal for player of the match but it could have gone to anyone in the Hawks' pack.
Wanderers had their chances.
Centre Chase Hicks bumped off three defenders in a 40-metre burst to cross beside the posts and give the Two Blues hope trailing 17-7 at the break, and with a strong wind at their back in the second half.
Winger George Ashworth was chopped down a metre short two minutes in the second half.
Then, with the score at 24-7, a runaway Luke Sherwood was swamped by Hamilton winger Hamish McKie as the fly-half was about to pass to an unmarked man on the inside.
Replacement Liam Dalibozek scooted down the left touchline but his pass to Luke Simmons was out in front and the fullback juggled twice before spilling the ball with the line open.
Breakaway Piers Morrell, captain Ben Ham and Hicks tried to lift the Two Blues.
In the end, the Hawks were too good.
"They played the Hamilton style of rugby and ground us out of the game," Ham said. "When we had the ball we didn't have any energy left from defending. The couple of weeks they had off freshened them up. We gave ourselves every chance to win the game but Hamilton were too strong.
"At half-time I thought we were in for a crack, but they came out and went up a gear."
Sheratt opened the Hawks' account in the 16th minute from a five-metre scrum when he stepped of his right foot and slid through. He was collected in the head by the Wanderers defence as he went to ground. Play was held up for five minutes while he was treated by medical staff before being assisted from the ground and taken to hospital. He has since been cleared of serious injury.
Connor Mulhearn stepped in at first receiver and the Hawks didn't miss a beat.
He plugged the corners and Hamilton's strangle by suffocation continued.
Lamont charged over from close range for 14-0 and Mulhearn added a penalty to stretch the lead to 17-0.
Hicks' try breathed life into the Two Blues and had they converted one of the early chances in the second half, it might have been a different story.
They didn't and the Hawks did.
Akkersdyk burrowed over for tries in the 50th and 74th minute before a penalty try at the death after Tim Marsh was ruled to have tackled Sireli Bainivalu high.