CRL 2022 – FINALS WEEK 1
Linwood Keas have snared a spot in the CRL’s Pat Smith Trophy grand final for the eighth consecutive season, while Hornby Panthers’ Bartercard Men’s Premiership defence is still alive after a sudden-death victory on a wet and wild semi-final Saturday.
Linwood carved out an emphatic 40-10 win over Halswell in the top-two showdown at Ngā Puna Wai.
The teams’ home-and-away clashes finished with 19-18 and 10-all scorelines, but the undefeated Keas virtually wrapped up their place in the decider by halftime with five unanswered tries – including a double to winger Makarini Mohi.
Jope Finau put the Hornets on the board early in the second half, but the Keas resumed control with experienced wing bulldozer Penitito Ilalio completing a hattrick before the hour mark.
The Hornets get another bite at the grand final cherry next week against the neighbouring Panthers, who overcame third-placed Eastern Eagles 28-22 at Wainoni Park in the elimination semi on the back of a big first half.
The champs led 18-0 in even time with Muipu Nati, Christian Fetu and Corey Lawrie crossing for tries, before the Eagles found some momentum to reduce the halftime deficit to 10 points.
Eagles second-rower Kolone Faalilo’s second try to open the second-half scoring pegged it back to 22-16, but Panthers counterpart Eti Collins’ converted try with 15 minutes left proved decisive. Eastern fullback Sincere Harraway – Hornby’s Mel Cooke Medal-winning hero in last year’s grand final triumph – dotted down late for the home side.
Meanwhile, fifth-placed Northern Bulldogs will feature in the Gore Cup final in a fortnight’s time after a hard-fought 19-10 win over Riccarton Knights at Murphy Park.
The Knights will face Celebration Lions next weekend for the other place in the Gore Cup decider.
Linwood Keas are also the first time through to the Canterbury Cup grand final, defeating gallant Greymouth Greyhounds 24-14 at Ngā Puna Wai.
The second-placed Greyhounds square off against Hornby Panthers – who outlasted Eastern Eagles 30-24 in the elimination semi on Saturday – next week for the right to face the Keas on Grand Final Day.
BARTERCARD CRL MEN’S PREMIERSHIP – FINALS WEEK 1
Linwood Keas 40 (Penitito Ilalio 3, Makarini Mohi 2, Matthew Molioo, Daniel Hartley, Kyle Amer tries; Hartley 4 goals) defeated Halswell Hornets 10 (Jope Finau, Jacob Nyman tries; Jamie Nuttridge goal) at Ngā Puna Wai
Hornby Panthers 28 (Muipu Nati, Christian Fetu, Corey Lawrie, Vaione Siaki, Eti Collins tries; Caleb Murphy 4 goals) defeated Eastern Eagles 22 (Kolone Faalilo 2, Mesiah Ngatuere, Sincere Harraway tries; Jimmy-John Rangiawha 3 goals) at Wainoni Park
ISC SPORTS CRL CANTERBURY CUP PREMIER RESERVES – FINALS WEEK 1
Linwood Keas 24 defeated Greymouth Greyhounds 14 at Ngā Puna Wai
Hornby Panthers 30 defeated Eastern Eagles 24 at Leslie Park
Ashburton Barbarians 16 defeated Northern Bulldogs 10 at Murphy Park