CRL MASSETTI CUP 2020: ROUND 10 WRAP
The 2020 Massetti Cup semi-finalists have been decided after Saturday’s final round of regular season matches.
Four-time defending champs Linwood Keas took out top spot ahead of Northern Bulldogs on for-and-against after both teams finished with 9-1 records. Hornby Panthers, the 2016-19 grand final runners-up, clinched third place with a convincing Round 10 victory over fourth-placed Riccarton Knights.
The Panthers downed the Knights 54-18 at Leslie Park, with fullback Muipu Nati and second-rower Keletisia Tongotongo both notching hat-tricks. The hosts led just 14-12 at halftime but piled on seven tries to one in the second stanza.
Riccarton hung onto four spot and a semi-final berth by virtue of fifth-placed Eastern Eagles’ 32-10 loss to the Keas, who scored 18 unanswered points in the second half after a close-fought opening 40. Linwood fullback Mapu Uasi and experienced centre Matt Sauni both crossed for two tries.
The Bulldogs were made to work hard by last-placed Celebration Lions, holding on for a 20-14 win at Ngā Puna Wai.
Sixth-placed Halswell Hornets finished their Massetti Cup campaign in style, overwhelming seventh-placed Papanui Tigers 52-24 after racing to a 20-point halftime lead. Hornets fullback Nick Evans scored 20 points from two tries and six goals.
The Keas will face the Knights and the Bulldogs take on the Panthers in next Saturday’s sudden-death semis.
Promoted Division One club Woolston Rams finished top of the table in the Canterbury Cup after losing just one of their regular-season games. They will face Linwood Keas in the 1 v 4 semi-final.
Northern Bulldogs landed second, just one point behind the Rams and one point ahead of third-placed Burnham Chevaliers, their semi-final opponents next weekend. The Chevaliers – who renewed a relationship with Riccarton Knights in 2020 – warmed up for the playoffs with a 56-10 win over Hornby Panthers.
CRL MASSETTI CUP ROUND 10 RESULTS
Northern Bulldogs 20-14 Celebration Lions @ Ngā Puna Wai
Hornby Panthers 54-18 Riccarton Knights @ Leslie Park
Eastern Eagles 10-32 Linwood Keas @ Wainoni Park
Papanui Tigers 24-52 Halswell Hornets @ Papanui Domain
CRL CANTERBURY CUP ROUND 11 RESULTS
Hornby Panthers 10-56 Burnham Chevaliers @ Leslie Park
Eastern Eagles 18-26 Linwood Keas @ Wainoni Park
Northern Bulldogs 20-0 Ashburton Barbarians
Woolston Rams 20-0 Papanui Tigers
Photo Credit: Dai Roberts