CRL MASSETTI CUP ROUND 2 WRAP
Northern Bulldogs and Linwood Keas are the only two unbeaten teams remaining after two rounds of the Canterbury Rugby League Massetti Cup.
A dominant first-half display laid the platform for Northern’s 32-16 win against Halswell Hornets at Halswell Domain.
The Bulldogs raced to a 22-0 lead by halftime; despite being outscored in the second half for the second week in a row, they had too much of a head-start for the plucky Hornets to reel in.
A second-half surge carried Linwood to a 34-16 victory over Celebration at Cuthberts Green. The underdog Lions trailed just by just two points at halftime, but the defending champs piled on five tries to one in the second stanza.
Wily Keas five-eighth Toi Sepuloni finished with a 14-point haul from two tries and three goals.
Hornby Panthers opened their account for 2018 with a 26-22 win over Riccarton Knights in a Leslie Park thriller.
The neighbouring rivals were locked 12-all at the break but the heavyweight Panthers found an extra four-pointer in the second half to secure the two competition points.
Veteran forward Ross Turi scored two tries off the bench for Hornby, while second-row tyro Jope Tagicakibau dotted down twice for Riccarton.
Eastern Eagles were the most convincing winners of Round 2, putting Papanui Tigers to the sword 38-16 in their first match at their revamped Wainoni Park base.
The new-look Eagles scored six tries to three, while prop Junior Peneli slotted four goals to go with his four-pointer.
CRL MASSETTI CUP LADDER: Northern 4, Linwood 4, Eastern 2, Riccarton 2, Hornby 2, Papanui 2, Celebration 0, Halswell 0.
CRL MASSETTI CUP ROUND 2 SCORERS
Northern Bulldogs 32 (Chris Bamford 2, Tom Mansfield, C Roberts, Chase Williams, Jason Bamford tries; Izic Placid 2, Williams, Leon Jarden goals) defeated Halswell Hornets 16 (Jason Galland, Nicholas Evans, Keenan Williams tries; Sean Scott 2 goals) at Halswell Domain.
Linwood Keas 34 (Toi Sepuloni 2, Ben Ilalio, Willie Yeow, Erwin Sauni, Chanel Peala, Danny Latu tries; Sepuloni 3 goals) defeated Celebration Lions 16 (Muipu Nati, Jazz Pouwhare, Pose Manu tries; Jake Vincent goal) at Cuthberts Green.
Hornby Panthers 26 (Ross Turi 2, Nick Fisher, Benji Heather, Papa Mutu tries; James Baxendale 3 goals) defeated Riccarton Knights 22 (Jope Tagicakibau 2, Tele Elia, Shane Tamatea tries; Elia 3 goals) at Leslie Park.
Eastern Eagles 38 (Junior Peneli, Tama Walker, Tyrone Stowers-Edmonds, Pita Kamariera, Lio Faalilo, Tyson Teaka Whare Mulroy tries; Klayton Waikato 3 goals) defeated Papanui Tigers 16 (Isaac Maliota, Taelem McGregor, Jamie Tomars tries; Hayden Thompson 2 goals) at Wainoni Park.