Hornby Panthers launched a late comeback to claim a vital last-gasp win in Round 9 of the Bartercard CRL Men’s Premiership, while Linwood Keas and Halswell Hornets consolidated their top-two Massetti Cup standing with convincing results on Saturday.

Riccarton Knights were on course for a momentous victory at Crosbie Park when they led the Panthers 26-12 with 20 minutes to go. But three unanswered tries to the defending champs – culminating in Tony Afoa’s match-winner on the last play of the game – snatched a 28-26 win.

The nerve-shredding finish saw the Panthers leapfrog the Knights into fifth spot on the Massetti Cup ladder.

Northern Bulldogs retained fourth place – two points ahead of the Panthers – via a 64-12 away defeat of Papanui Tigers. Halfback Taniela Leka and winger Jesse Endacott bagged try doubles, while hooker Nathaniel Tirikatene racked up 20 points from a try and eight goals as the Bulldogs piled on seven of their 11 tries in the second half.

Unbeaten premiership leaders Linwood gave in-form Eastern a reality check courtesy of a 46-16 scoreline at Linwood Park. The third-placed Eagles opened the scoring through Kolone Faalilo, who finished with two tries, but the Keas posted the next seven four-pointers to establish a match-winning advantage.

Keas second-rower Uriah Tuli powered over for a hat-trick, while Erwin Sauni and Mika Moemalo Ulu came off the bench to nab two tries each.

Second-placed Halswell carved out an emphatic 44-12 win over Celebration at Cuthberts Green on the back of a dominant first half.

The Hornets led 22-0 at the break, before winger Hamish Jarden crossed for a second-half double and veteran five-eighth Toi Sepuloni completed a hat-trick.

Halswell claimed the outright ISC Sports Canterbury Cup lead with a 16-10 win over Linwood in Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash.

Hornby and Eastern held onto top-four spots with big away wins over Ashburton (54-10) and Northern (70-0), respectively, with Panthers winger Tori Kerr scoring four tries and Eagles winger Sivaimauga Elia Lui notching 22 points (two tries, seven goals).

Meanwhile, Greymouth Greyhounds stayed in contention for the playoffs with their sixth win in seven games, a 24-12 defeat of Woolston Rams.

There’s a thrilling race for top spot unfolding at the halfway mark of the CRL Women’s Premiership regular season.

Linwood, Sydenham and Woolston all boast eight competition points after each winning three of their first four games.

The Keas slipped past the Swans, who had the Round 5 bye, on for-and-against with a 70-10 defeat of Burnham Chevaliers on Sunday as Canterbury, Kiwi Ferns and Fetu Samoa rep Sui Pauaraisa scored four tries. The Rams overwhelmed Eastern Eagles 46-18 at Woolston Park, running in nine tries to three.



Linwood Keas 46 (Uriah Tuli 3, Erwin Sauni 2, Mika Moemalo Ulu 2, Matthew Molioo, Makai Tafua tries; Daniel Hartley 5 goals) defeated Eastern Eagles 16 (Kolone Faalilo 2, Walter Huata tries; Henare Nukunuku 2 goals) at Linwood Park

Hornby Panthers 28 (Christian Fetu 2, Corey Lawrie, Isileli Pulu, Tony Afoa tries; Caleb Murphy 4 goals) defeated Riccarton Knights 26 at Crosbie Park

Halswell Hornets 44 (Toi Sepuloni 3, Hamish Jarden 2, Josh Everett, Jacob Paul, Jamie Nuttridge tries; Nuttridge 6 goals) defeated Celebration Lions 12 (Lekima Tukana, Rawiri Maniapoto-Pakai tries; Maniapoto-Pakai 2 goals) at Cuthberts Green

Northern Bulldogs 64 (Taniela Leka 2, Jesse Endacott 2, Richard Earl, Riki Koni, Javaan Togiaso, Todd Couch, Nathaniel Tirikatene, Viliami Tai, Hamish Earl tries; Tirikatene 8, Tai, Keri Wilson goals) defeated Papanui Tigers 12 (Damon Simanu, Peter Loto tries; Hayden Tweedie, Jacob Clarke goals) at Papanui Domain



Halswell Hornets 16 defeated Linwood Keas 10 at Halswell Domain
Hornby Panthers 54 defeated Ashburton Barbarians 10 at Robilliard Park
Eastern Eagles 70 defeated Northern Bulldogs 0 at Murphy Park
Greymouth Greyhounds 24 defeated Woolston Rams 12 at Papanui Domain


Linwood Keas 70 defeated Burnham Chevaliers 10 at Linwood Park
Woolston Rams 46 defeated Eastern Eagles 18 at Woolston Park

Canterbury Rugby League 2021 Season Launch
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