CRL MASSETTI CUP ROUND 5 WRAP
Hornby Panthers cemented their position at the top of the Massetti Cup standings, Linwood Keas snatched a last-minute victory on the road, and Riccarton Knights and Eastern Eagles strengthened their top-four claims in Round 5 of the CRL Men’s Premiership.
Hornby remain the only unbeaten team in the competition after an emphatic 46-4 home victory over Celebration.
Winger Phillip Vaifale and halfback Brad Campbell finished with doubles, while Jordan Coleman also scored two tries off the bench. Panthers second-row duo Corey Lawrie and Caius Faatili – separated in age by more than 20 years – both got on the scoresheet.
Rockcote Canterbury Bulls skipper James Baxendale enjoyed an outstanding day with the boot, landing seven goals.
A penalty goal at the death saw second-placed Linwood edge out desperately unlucky Northern at Murphy Park.
The Keas took a 4-0 lead into halftime, but the Bulldogs hit the front through tries to Nick Wain and Manu Tipelu. The three-time defending champs found an equalising try, however, before halfback Daniel Hartley held to nerve to slot the decisive goal.
Riccarton chalked up its third successive win, carving out a 30-16 result at home over Papanui at Crosbie Park.
A first-half double to five-eighth Caleb Reweti and tries to ageless hooker Justin Lynch – his fourth of the seasons – and Rockcote Canterbury Bulls back-rower Reuben Te Amo powered the Knights to a 24-0 halftime advantage.
The Tigers rallied impressively with three tries after the break, but a try to Rikki Bidois and flawless Tele Elia’s fifth goal sealed the victory.
Eastern moved up to third spot on the Massetti Cup ladder with their third win of the season, holding off Halswell 32-20 at Halswell Domain.
The Eagles scored three tries to the Hornets’ two in each half, turning a 16-12 halftime lead into a vital two points on the road.
The Hornets – semi-finalists in 2018 – are yet to record a win this season.
In Sunday’s sole CRL Women’s Premiership fixture, defending champs Linwood Keas accounted for Celebration Lions 38-8.
Burnham Chevaliers remain undefeated at the top of the table.
CRL MASSETTI CUP ROUND 5
Riccarton Knights 30 (Caleb Rewiti 2, Justin Lynch, Rikki Bidois, Reuben Te Amo tires; Tele Elia 5 goals) defeated Papanui Tigers 16 (Hayden Thompson, Tufuga Sa, Ephraim McIntyre tries; Sa 2 goals) at Crosbie Park
Eastern Eagles 32 (Klayton Waikato, Peneli Peneli, Rezyn Timo Latu, Kolone Faaliilo, Josh Afamasaga, Cyrus Timo-Latu tries; Junior Peneli 4 goals) defeated Halswell Hornets 20 (Nick Evans, Levi Morunga, Caleb Scott, Keenan Williams tries; Jahran Katene, Nick Cameron goals) at Halswell Domain
Hornby Panthers 46 (Phillip Vaifale 2, Brad Campbell 2, Jordan Coleman 2, Corey Lawrie, Caius Faatili tries; James Baxendale 7 goals) defeated Celebration Lions 4 (Jack Mundy try) at Leslie Park
Linwood Keas 12 (Matthew Sauni, Mapu Uasi tries; Daniel Hartley 2 goals) defeated Northern Bulldogs 10 (Nick Wain, Manu Tipelu tries; Izic Placid goal) at Murphy Park