CRL MASSETTI CUP ROUND 13 WRAP
Riccarton Knights and Eastern Eagles are set for a final-round blockbuster after Saturday’s Massetti Cup result left the clubs tied for fourth spot.
The Knights accounted for Celebration Lions 16-0 at Crosbie Park, while the Eagles went down 30-2 to Hornby Panthers – after trailing by just four at halftime – at Leslie Park on the wettest day of the men’s premiership season.
The Eagles host the Knights this weekend in a straight shootout to qualify for the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Northern Bulldogs clinched a third-place finish via a 72-0 demolition of Papanui Tigers at Murphy Park. The Bulldogs’ 13-try win edged them four points clear of the Eagles and Knights on the Massetti Cup ladder.
The Bulldogs powered to a 28-0 halftime lead over the last-placed Tigers, before piling on eight tries in the second stanza. Ethan Plaskett scored a hat-trick for Northern, while Nathaniel Tirikatene notched a double and Michael Butson racked up 18 points from a try and seven goals.
But the biggest cheers were reserved for co-captain Steven Maat, who brought up his 100th game for the club. The local junior was gifted a second-half try by a teammate and slotted his obligatory milestone conversion attempt.
Linwood Keas took another step towards securing top spot heading into the playoffs, slowing Halswell Hornets’ late-season resurgence with a 38-4 result at Halswell Domain.
Winger Rangi Thompson’s outstanding tryscoring form continued, crossing for two of the Keas’ eight four-pointers to take his tally to seven in his last three games.
CRL MASSETTI CUP STANDINGS
Linwood Keas 24 (+220), Hornby Panthers 22 (+342), Northern Bulldogs 16 (+166), Riccarton Knights 12 (+22), Eastern Eagles 12 (-22), Halswell Hornets 8 (-252), Celebration Lions 6 (-125), Papanui Tigers 4 (-357)
Photo Credit: Kevin Clarke – CMG Sports