CRL Premiers Massetti Cup Rd 5 Wrap
In a remarkable afternoon of Massetti Cup action on Saturday afternoon, Celebration Lions and Papanui Tigers overturned eight-point halftime deficits to pull off important wins, while Halswell Hornets came desperately close to snatching a last-minute draw after trailing premiers Linwood by 18 points at the break.
The Keas were on course for a big win at Halswell Domain, powering to a 22-4 halftime advantage over the Hornets.
The home side rallied to score the first two tries of the second stanza and trail just 22-16, but the 2016 champs looked to have put the game to bed when Daniel Hartley sliced through and converted his own try to restore a 12-point buffer.
Texas Toleofa scored with nine minutes left to set up a grandstand finish. Hartley’s attempts at a match-sealing field goal were unsuccessful, and Connor Moody crossed in the corner for the Hornets in the dying stages. Jamie Nuttridge’s conversion attempt was waved away, however, allowing the Keas to escape with a 28-26 result.
The Lions were behind 18-10 at Murphy Park, but a hat-trick to Rockcote Canterbury Bulls forward Kyle Leka and a Jonathan Lima double steered them to a 28-23 victory over the Bulldogs – their third in succession.
Aranui Eagles led perennial heavyweights Papanui 20-12 at halftime of their showdown at QE II Park, but the Tigers came home with a wet sail to pull off a 32-28 win via four second-half tries. Mark Walsh scored two tries for the Tigers, while Klayton Waikato grabbed a brace for the gallant Eagles.
Hornby remain unbeaten at the top of the table after a rampant 48-4 defeat of winless Riccarton at Crosbie Park.
Charlie Charlie was the main beneficiary of the Panthers’ dominance, crossing for four tries, while Nopera Karipa bagged a double and Rockcote Canterbury Bulls skipper James Baxendale notched 16 points from a try and six goals.
Celebration Lions 28 (Kyle Leka 3, Jonathan Lima 2, Javaan Togiaso tries; Taniela Leka 2 goals) d. Northern Bulldogs 23 (Faletoese Faletoese 2, Te Wano Thomas, Patella Tou tries; Thomas 3 goals; Joseph Gay field goal)
Papanui Tigers 32 (Mark Walsh 2, Tanu Suavine, Darren Tonihi, Jared Neho, Kitiona Pati tries; Izic Placid 4 goals) d. Aranui Eagles 28 (Klayton Waikato 2, Johnno Tamepo, Zion Tauamiti tries; Mark Tawha 6 goals)
Linwood Keas 28 (David Jakob, Paul Sauni, Matt Clydesdale, Grahame Patu-Vaega’Au, Daniel Hartley tries; Hartley 4 goals) d. Halswell Hornets 26 (Leighton Bell, Sam Kelso, Sean Scott, Texas Toleafoa, Connor Moody tries; Jamie Nuttridge 3 goals)
Hornby Panthers 48 (Charlie Charlie 4, Nopera Karipa 2, Will Tafua, Ross Turi, James Baxendale tries; Baxendale 6 goals) d. Riccarton Knights 4 (Hayden Blackley try)