CRL MASSETTI CUP 2020: ROUND 5 WRAP
Northern Bulldogs, Linwood Keas and Riccarton Knights are in a three-way tie for top spot on the Massetti Cup ladder at the halfway mark of the 2020 regular season.
The Keas inflicted the Bulldogs’ first loss of the year courtesy of a 24-10 result at Murphy Park in Kaiapoi.
Matt Sauni was the chief destroyer for the four-time defending champs, finishing with a hat-trick as they turned a tenuous 8-4 halftime lead into a convincing win.
The Knights, meanwhile, carved out their fourth straight victory – a hard-fought 18-12 success against Halswell Hornets in front of the Crosbie Park faithful.
All three of Riccarton’s tries were scored by their centre duo, with Rex Hifo bagging a double and Reuben Te Amo – better known as a middle forward for the Knights and Canterbury Bulls – dotting down for a four-pointer. The Knights led 12-6 at the break.
Hornby Panthers moved to fourth place on the Massetti Cup ladder with a thrilling 32-30 eclipse of Eastern Eagles at Leslie Park.
The Panthers trailed by eight at halftime but came home with a wet sail. Centre Muipu Nati and teenaged prop Caius Faatili both notched two tries for the victors.
There was another stirring comeback at Cuthberts Green as Celebration Lions edged Papanui Tigers 26-24 for their first win of the season.
The Tigers were 18-6 in front at halftime but the hosts scored four tries to one in the second half.
Eastern, Papanui and Celebration are in a share of sixth spot with 1-4 records after five rounds.
CRL MASSETTI CUP MEN’S PREMIERSHIP ROUND 5 RESULTS
Linwood Keas 24 (Matt Sauni 3, Mapu Uasi, Ben Ilalio tries; Michael Nicholls-Cane 2 goals) defeated Northern Bulldogs 10 (Nick Wain, Ethan Plaskett tries; Nathaniel Tirikatene goal) at Murphy Park
Hornby Panthers 32 (Muipu Nati 2, Caius Faatili 2, Will Tafua, Tau Arona tries; Benji Heather 3, James Baxendale goals) defeated Eastern Eagles 30 (Isileli Ngauamo, Junior Peneli, Josh Ka, Cyrus Timo-Latu, Uriah Esau tries; Daniel Hartley 2, Peneli, Timo-Latu goals) at Leslie Park
Riccarton Knights (Rex Hifo 2, Reuben Te Amo tries; Tele Elia 3 goals) defeated Halswell Hornets 12 (Aaron Fiveash, Jope Finau tries; Brody Greig 2 goals) at Crosbie Park
Celebration Lions 26 (Tipazo Aukustitino, Ian Kearns, Kane Kamana, Abraham Fonmoa, Jordan Kamana tries; Taniela Leka 3 goals) defeated Papanui Tigers 24 (Caleb Tauamiti, Anaru Donnelly, Reopoamo Aiiloilo, Zachariah Sanele, Niko Tauamiti tries; Eletise Tamala, Jesse Wihongi goals) at Cuthberts Green
CRL CANTERBURY CUP PREMIER RESERVES ROUND 6 RESULTS
Burnham Chevaliers 40 defeated Halswell Hornets 20 at Crosbie Park
Linwood Keas 22 defeated Woolston Rams 12 at Woolston Park
Hornby Panthers 42 defeated Eastern Eagles 18 at Leslie Park
Ashburton Barbarians 20 defeated Papanui Tigers 0*
Photo Credit: Dai Roberts