CRL Premiers Massetti Cup Rd 2 Wrap
Celebration Lions’ dream Massetti Cup run came to an abrupt halt on Saturday, hammered 48-6 by Linwood Keas in a top-of-the-table showdown as Queen’s Birthday weekend played host to the rescheduled Round 2 of the competition.
The Lions held a share of top spot with the Keas after piecing together a six-match winning streak, but the defending champs provided a brutal reality check by charging out to a 30-0 halftime lead at Cuthberts Green.
Linwood’s Joseph Mika bagged a hat-trick against his former club, while giant prop Jiordan Fidow-Kele scored a double for the Keas against a Celebration outfit that clearly missed the class of absent duo Kane Ferris and Tama Walker.
Hornby Panthers joined the Lions in second place on the ladder with an equally emphatic 52-14 demolition of Halswell Hornets at Denton Oval. The Panthers led 18-6 at halftime before putting the Hornets to the sword in the second stanza. Captain James Baxendale finished with a 20-point haul that included two tries, while Craig Smith also crossed twice.
Northern Bulldogs climbed up to fifth with a thrilling 30-26 win over last-placed Aranui Eagles at Murphy Park. The sides were locked 14-all at the break, but the home side hung on for a six-tries-to-five victory.
Fullback Nick Wain and five-eighth Manu Tipelu notched doubles for the Bulldogs, while veteran centre Vinnie Paul and prop Zion Taumati posted two tries each for the gallant Eagles.
Fourth-placed Papanui Tigers kept in touch with the leading pack thanks to a hard-fought win over Riccarton Knights at Crosbie Park, turning a tenuous 14-8 halftime lead into a 26-16 success.
AT A GLANCE
Linwood Keas 48 ( Joseph Mika 3, Jiordan FIdow-Kele, Erwin Sauni, Paul Sauni, Matt Clydesdale, Graeme Vaenga’au tries; Daniel Hartley 6 goals) Celebration Lions 6 (John Lima Try, Taniela Leka goal).
Hornby Panthers 52 (Craig Smith 2, James Baxendale 2, Corey Lawrie, Charlie Charlie, Nick Stewart, Tyrone Arona, Tauvale Tauvale, Dene Grace tries; Baxendale 6 goals) Halswell Hornets 14 (Texas Toleafoa 3, Ben Ilalio, Todd Mitchell tries; Jamie Nuttridge 3 goals).
Northern Bulldogs 30 (Nick Wain 2, Manu Tipelu 2, Faletoese Faletoese, John Kaukura tries; Te Wano Thomas 3 goals) Aranui Eagles 26 (Vinnie Paul 2, Zion Tauamiti 2 , Josh Ifopo tries; Henare Nukunuku, Samuel Robinson, Benjamin Houghton goals).
Papanui Tigers 26 (Isaac Maliota, Mark Walsh (2), Izic Placid, Phil Lavea tries; Izic Placid 3 goals) Riccarton Knights 16 (Justin Lynch, James Tongia, Kolio Vailu’u tries; Jope Tagicakibau 2 goals).
Points (after 8 rounds): Linwood 14, Hornby 12, Celebration 12, Papanui 10, Northern 6, Halswell 4, Riccarton 4, Aranui 2