CANTERBURY RUGBY LEAGUE ROUND 7 WRAP
Halswell Hornets fired a shot across the bow of a Bartercard NZ CRL Men’s Premiership heavyweight for the second straight Saturday, drawing with ladder-leading Hornby Panthers to consolidate a position in the top four at the halfway mark of the competition.
Just seven days after a gripping 16-all stalemate with defending champs Linwood, Halswell marked its Club Day with a 24-all result against archrival Hornby.
But it was again a case of a premiership point that got away for Walter Wilson’s Hornets, who led the Keas 10-0 at halftime last weekend before being reeled in. The Hornets opened up a commanding 18-4 advantage at the break only for the Panthers to stage a second-half comeback.
Hornets winger Davey Watts and Panther prop Keletisua Tongotongo both finished the match with two tries.
The ‘game of two halves’ trend permeated throughout Round 7.
The Keas were locked in a fierce battle with Celebration Lions during the opening 40 minutes at Ngā Puna Wai, holding a tight 16-14 lead as the Eastside rivals headed to the sheds.
But the five-time premiers were in a dominant mood after the resumption, scoring six tries to one in an emphatic 48-20 victory. Centre Matt Sauni scored two tries, while brother Paul – who was paired in the halves with Andrew Auimatagi – and fellow Linwood stalwarts Alex Todd and Alani Kakoi were also among the try-scorers.
Seventh-placed Eastern Eagles stayed in touch with the top four, running down Riccarton Knights 22-20 in a Crosbie Park thriller to secure their second win of the season.
The visitors trailed 16-6 at the break but rallied with second-half tries to Alistair Roberts, Henare Nukunuku and Sea Muaimalae.
Northern Bulldogs flexed their attacking muscle – and edged into third place ahead of the Hornets on for-and-against – with a 56-8 demolition of last-placed Papanui Tigers.
The Tigers were competitive during the first half, behind just 16-4 at the change of ends at Murphy Park. But the Bulldogs clicked into gear in the second stanza, scoring eight tries to one. Halfback Josh Endacott went on a pointscoring spree, tallying 22 points from a hat-trick of tries and five goals.
Photo Credit: Eastern Eagles Rugby League Club
BARTERCARD NZ CRL MEN’S PREMIERSHIP ROUND 7 RESULTS
Halswell Hornets 24 (Davey Watts 2, Cameron Greig, Jope Finau tries; Jamie Nuttridge 4 goals) drew with Hornby Panther 24 (Keletisua Tongotongo 2, Caleb Murray, Jesse Rogers, Peni Mo’Ale tries; Murphy, Karusa Tuaile goals) at Halswell Domain
Linwood Keas 48 (Matt Sauni 2, Graeme Patu-Vaega’Au, Paul Sauni, Alex Todd, Alani Kakoi, Matt Molioo, Jesse RAngihuna, Uriah Tuli tries; Leon Jarden 5, Pentito Ilalio goals) defeated Celebration Lions 20 (Jordan Wawatai, Faafetai Tuuu, Kalolo Tuuu, Abraham Fonmoa tries; Wawatai 2 goals) at Ngā Puna Wai
Eastern Eagles 22 (Longe Faalilo, Alistair Roberts, Henare Nukunuku, Sea Muaimalae tries; Daniel Hartley 3 goals) defeated Riccarton Knights 20 (Andy Rattray 2, Justin Lynch Jahrome Clarke tries; Matariri Halbert-Pere 2 goals) at Crosbie Park
Northern Bulldogs 56 (Josh Endacott 3, Javaan Togiaso 2, Vinnie Paul, Mathew Couch, Josh Rawiri, Ethan Plaskett, Nathaniel Tirikatene, Manu Tipelu tries; Endacott 5, Rawiri goals) defeated Papanui Tigers 8 (Antonio Lemalu, Niko Tauamiti tries) at Murphy Park
ISC SPORTS CRL CANTERBURY CUP PREMIER RESERVES ROUND 7 RESULTS
Halswell Hornets 18 defeated Hornby Panthers 14 at Halswell Domain
Shirley Hawks 18 defeated Ashburton Barbarians 16 at Robilliard Park
Marist-Papanui 30 defeated Northern Bulldogs 14 at Murphy Park
Burnham Chevaliers 28 defeated Eastern Eagles 14 at Crosbie Park
Linwood Keas 44 defeated Woolston Rams 10 at Ngā Puna Wai