Baxendale leads Hornby to third straight win
Via The Press
Photo Credit: John Kirk-Anderson
The Hornby Panthers will take some stopping in the Canterbury Rugby League premiership based on early-season form.
Jeremy Lawrie’s side had their third consecutive win on Saturday, beating the Northern Bulldogs 36-8 to remain the only unbeaten side in the Massetti Cup.
Canterbury Bulls captain James Baxendale and Christian Eric both scored two tries for the Panthers with Baxendale also booting four goals.
Tauvale Tauvale, Will Tafua and Christopher Tuatau also got on the scoresheet in the Panthers’ seven-try effort.
The Bulldogs, who notched their first win last week against the Riccarton Knights, managed tries to Faletoese Faletoese and Cameron Godfrey.
Hornby have always had an experienced core, led by Baxendale and veterans Corey Lawrie and Craig Smith, but they have bolstered their squad this season with the addition of Tafua and tough frontrower Ross Turi, both past Bulls representatives.
Defending champions Linwood mustered five tries in a 24-6 win over winless Riccarton at Linwood Park with Graeme Patu-Vaega’au, Danny Latu, co-captain Paul Sauni, Iuma Mulitalo and Sam Hudson dotting down.
The Papanui Tigers returned to winning form after being shut out by the Linwood Keas last week.
Shane Endacott’s side scored six tries – to Steven Knights, Tane Suavine, Kyle Pauro, Darren Tonihi, Isaac Malitota and Izic Placid – and Placid slotted five goals in a 34-14 victory over the Halswell Hornets at Halswell Domain.
Celebration Lions edged out the Aranui Eagles 16-10 in the eastside derby at Cuthberts Green.
Three of Celebration’s most experienced players, former Warrior Kane Ferris, ex-New Zealand Residents representative Junior Salevao and one-time Canterbury Bulls back Kasi Leka scored tries while Benjamin Houghton got the Eagles’ sole touchdown.
The Lions join Linwood and Papanui on four points – two behind the Panthers.
AT A GLANCE
Papanui Tigers 34 (Steven Knights, Tane Suavine, Kyle Pauro, Darren Tonihi, Isaac Malitota, Izic Placid tries. Izic Placid 5 goals) bt Halswell Hornets 14 (Ben Ilalio, Willie Davies, Jamie Nuttridge tries; Nuttridge goal).
Hornby Panthers 36 (Christian Eric 2, James Baxendale 2, Tauvale Tauvale, Will Tafua, Christopher Tuatau tries. James Baxendale 4 goals) bt Northern Bulldogs 8 (Faletoese Faletoese, Cameron Godfrey tries.)
Celebration Lions 16 (Junior Salevao, Kasi Leka, Kane Ferris tries. Taniela Leka 1 penalty. Taniela Leka 1 goal) bt Aranui Eagles 10 (Benjamin Houghton try; Klayton Waikato 3 goals).
Linwood Keas 24 ( Graeme Patu-Vaega’au, Danny Latu, Paul Sauni, Iuma Mulitalo, Sam Hudson tries; Daniel Hartley 2 goals) bt Riccarton Knights 6 ( James Tongia try; Edward Elia goal)
Points (after 3 rounds): Hornby 6, Linwood 4, Papanui 4, Celebration 4, Halswell 2, Northern 2, Aranui 2, Riccarton 0.