Waikato will play Wellington in the NZ Cup final after thrashing Otago 44-15 in Hamilton on Saturday.
The competition’s top qualifiers ensured a home final by scoring six tries to two against an outclassed Otago side.
Mils Muliaina, Steven Donald and Richard Kahui were all declared fit to play for the Mooloos and they had a major impact on the game, with Donald and Mulianina setting up Kahui’s try on the five-minute mark.
Scrumhalf Byron Kelleher then put right wing Sosene Anesi away for Waikato’s second try, before Otago got on the board with a penalty.
However, another try from Anesi and a penalty from flyhalf David Hill gave the home side a comfortable 25-3 half-time lead.
Skipper Josh Blackie gave Otago a glimmer of hope when he scored after recollecting a grubber through the defence. However, when Waikato captain Steven Bates was driven over for a try of his own, the result was put beyond doubt.
Waikato added another two tries through wing Sitiveni Sivivatu and replacement scrumhalf Brendon Leonard.
Waikato - Tries Richard Kahui, Sosene Anesi (2), Steven Bates, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Brendon Leonard. Conversions: David Hill (4). Penalties: Hill (2).
Otago - Tries: Josh Blackie, Tim Boys. Conversion: Nick Evans. Penalty: Evans.