CRL ROUND 1 WRAP
Massetti Cup heavyweights Linwood Keas and Hornby Panthers both carved out convincing wins to open their 2019 campaigns, while Papanui Tigers and Celebration Lions also snared vital Round 1 victories.
The Keas marked their Club Day with a 32-14 defeat of Riccarton Knights at Linwood Park, setting the platform with an 18-0 first half as second-rower Jiordan Fidow-Kele stormed over for two tries.
But the Knights, who finished last in 2018, matched the three-time champs after the break with both sides adding three tries. Veteran Justin Lynch, Rockcote Canterbury Bulls tyro Jope Tagicakibau and fullback James Tongia crossed for the visitors, while winger Danny Latu dotted down twice to complete a hat-trick for the Keas.
A strong defensive effort in the second half delivered the Panthers a 26-10 victory over Northern Bulldogs in Kaiapoi. The hosts trailed just 18-10 at halftime but Hornby posted the only two tries of the second 40.
West Coast wing recruit Regan Stanton and teenaged back-rower Caius Faatili marked their Panthers premiers debuts with tries.
New-look Papanui made an early-season statement by running in a Round 1-high seven tries in a 38-20 win against 2018 semi-finalists Halswell Hornets.
The Tigers led 16-10 after a hard-fought first half but proved too hot for the Hornets to handle as the match wore on at Papanui Domain, finding their way over the stripe four times in the second stanza. Winger Hayden Thompson finished with a double.
Eastern Eagles staged a mighty comeback to defeat Celebration Lions 26-20 at Wainoni Park.
The Lions led 16-6 at halftime thanks to tries to outside-backs Jack Mundy and Dylan Geddis and returning stalwart Kasi Leka. But the Eagles scored four tries to one in the second half, with experienced half Tama Walker notching a double in an encouraging start to their first campaign back under the Eastern banner.
Burnham Cheavliers took out the CRL Women’s Nines tournament on Sunday at Canterbury Agricultural Park, defeating Linwood Keas 16-4 in the final. Celebration Lions and Hornby Panthers also took part.
CRL MASSETTI CUP ROUND 1
Hornby Panthers 26 (Tauvale Tauvale, Regan Stanton, Pahillip Vaifale, Brad Campbell, Caius Faatili tries; James Baxendale 3 goals) defeated Northern Bulldogs 10 (Steven Maat, Cameron Godfrey tries; Nathaniel Tirikatene goal) at Murphy Park
Linwood Keas 32 (Danny Latu 3, Jiordan Fidow-Kele 2, Alex Todd, Willie Yeow tries; Daniel Hartley 2 goals) defeated Riccarton Knights 14 (Justin Lynch, Jope Tagicakibau, James Tongia tries; Te Morehu Reweti goal) at Linwood Park
Papanui Tigers 38 (Hayden Thompson 2, Tufuga Sa, Eletise Tamala, Zachariah Sanele, Antonio Lemalu, Montel Tivoli tries; Jimmy Rangiawha 4, Sa goals) defeated Halswell Hornets 20 (Caleb Scott, Brad Austin, Aidan Tehiko, Quinton Woodham tries; Austin, Dylan Gittings goals) at Papanui Domain
Eastern Eagles 26 (Tama Walker 2, Henare Nukunuku, Junior Muaimalae, Peneli Peneli tries; Junior Penile 3 goals) defeated Celebration Lions 20 (Francis Tuiletufuga, Jack Mundy, Dylan Geddis, Kasi Leka tries; Jake Vincent 2 goals) at Wainoni Park
MASSETTI CUP LADDER: Papanui Tigers 2 (+18), Linwood Keas 2 (+18), Hornby Panthers 2 (+16), Eastern Eagles 2 (+6), Celebration Lions 0 (-6), Northern Bulldogs 0 (-16), Riccarton Knights 0 (-18), Halswell Hornets 0 (-18)
CRL CANTERBURY CUP ROUND 1
Eastern Eagles 48 defeated Shirley Hawks 22
Hornby Panthers 42 defeated Northern Bulldogs 20
Halswell Hornets 32 defeated Papanui Tigers 26
Linwood Keas 20 defeated Riccarton Knights 0
CRL DIVISION ONE ROUND 1
Burnham Chevaliers 30 defeated Ashburton Barbarians 10
Halswell Hornets 20 defeated Halswell Hornets 0
Marist Saints 20 defeated Woolston Rams 0
Photo Credit: Halswell Hornets