CRL Premiers Massetti Cup Rd 9 Wrap
After the postponed Round 2 was played on Queen’s Birthday weekend, Saturday’s Canterbury Rugby League premiership schedule saw the same teams square off for the second week in a row – and Round 9 of the Massetti Cup produced four identical results.
Humbled 48-6 in the teams’ clash a week earlier, Celebration Lions produced a far more resilient performance this time around – but it still wasn’t enough to topple Linwood Keas, who carved out a 32-16 success at Linwood Park.
The Keas led 18-12 at halftime and the match was still in the balance at 24-16 deep into the final quarter, before the defending premiers kicked clear via Willie Yeow’s second try and a late sealer from Iuma Mulitalo.
Hornby Panthers put a dampener on Halswell Hornets’ club day with a 46-8 drubbing at Halswell Domain after leading 20-4 at halftime. James Ngatai and wily veteran Corey Lawrie notched doubles for the Panthers, while prolific scorer James Baxendale added another 14 points to his season tally.
The big win gave the Panthers 98 points at the Hornets’ expense in the space of seven days, while they also moved past the Lions into outright second on the ladder.
Riccarton Knights pushed heavyweights Papanui Tigers all the way for the second week in succession, but the Tigers held on for a nail-biting 28-26 win at Papanui Domain.
The result sees the Tigers join the Lions in third spot on 12 points, while the gutsy sixth-placed Knights were left to lament their third loss by a converted try or less this season.
Fifth-placed Northern Bulldogs kept their playoffs hopes alive with a second straight hard-fought win over Aranui Eagles, turning a 14-10 halftime lead into a 32-22 win. The Bulldogs remain four points adrift of the top four, while the Eagles are anchored to the bottom of the ladder with just one win from nine outings.
Hornby Panthers 46 (James Ngatai 2, Corey Lawrie 2, Christian Eric, James Baxendale, Peni Mo’Ale, Sam Wallace, Willie Tafua tries; Baxendale 5 goals) d. Halswell Hornets 8 (Nathan Chai 2 tries)
Linwood 32 (Willie Yeow 2, Paul Sauni, Erwin Sauni, Alex Todd, Iuma Mulitalo tries; Dylan Hartley 4 goals) d. Celebration 16 (Kyle Leka, Posetone Manu, Muipu Nati tries; Tama Walker 2 goals)
Papanui Tigers 28 (Benaiah Crichton, Tanu Suavine, John Tafua, Jahrome Clark, Nathan Faleuaai, Kitiona Pati tries; Izic Placid, Joseph Smith goals) d. Riccarton Knights 26 (Hayden Blackley 2, Jope Tagicakibau, Zac Riley, Justin Lynch tries; Tagicakibau 3 goals)
Northern 32 (Faletoese Faletoese 2, Tony Loffhagen 2, John Kaukura, Chase Williams, Patella Tou tries; Te Wano Thomas 2 goals) d. Aranui 22 (Sam Robinson, Vinnie Paul, Alastair Roberts, Klayton Waikato tries; Robinson 3 goals)
MASSETTI CUP TABLE: Linwood 16, Hornby 14, Papanui 12, Celebration 12, Northern 8, Riccarton 4, Halswell 4, Aranaui 2