CRL 2022 – FINALS WEEK 2
Sitting outside the top four a week out from the playoffs, defending CRL champs Hornby Panthers have surged into their sixth Pat Smith Trophy grand final against archrivals Linwood Keas in seven years.
The Panthers carved out a gritty 16-6 Bartercard Men’s Premiership preliminary final defeat of Halswell Hornets on Saturday to keep their bid for back-to-back titles alive.
In a frenetic start at Halswell Domain, the Panthers led 12-6 after 15 minutes as Zinzaan Martin and Christian Fetu scored either side of Jacob Nyman’s try for the Hornets.
But there would be just one more score in a gripping contest: Hornby winger Iseleli Pulu’s crucial four-pointer early in the second stanza.
Undefeated Linwood, premiers in five straight seasons from 2016-20, lie in wait ahead of next Sunday’s decider at Ngā Puna Wai – the Keas’ eighth consecutive grand final appearance.
Linwood and Hornby will also square off in the premier reserves grand final after the Panthers cut Greymouth Greyhounds’ fairytale campaign short 30-14 in the Canterbury Cup preliminary final.
The Greyhounds got off to a strong start at Papanui Domain, leading 14-6 after 25 minutes – before the Panthers piled on four unanswered tries.
Sydenham Swans will defend their CRL Women’s Premiership title against Linwood Keas on Grand Final after outlasting Woolston Rams 26-18. The ladder-leading Keas powered to a convincing 34-4 victory over Burnham Chevaliers in the other semi-final.
Riccarton Knights will contest the Gore Cup final against Northern Bulldogs following their convincing 34-10 defeat of Celebration Lions.
BARTERCARD CRL MEN’S PREMIERSHIP – PRELIMINARY FINAL
Hornby Panthers 16 (Zinzaan Martin, Christian Fetu, Isileli Pulu tries; Caleb Murphy 2 goals) defeated Halswell Hornets 6 (Jacob Nyman try; Jamie Nuttridge goal) at Halswell Domain
CRL GORE CUP
Riccarton Knights 34 defeated Celebration Lions 10 at Crosbie Park
ISC SPORTS CRL CANTERBURY CUP MEN’S PREMIER RESERVES – PRELIMINARY FINAL
Hornby Panthers 30 defeated Greymouth Greyhounds 14 at Papanui Domain
CRL WOMEN’S PREMIERSHIP SEMI-FINALS
Linwood Keas 34 defeated Burnham Chevaliers 4 at Ngā Puna Wai
Sydenham Swans 26 defeated Woolston Rams 18 at Woolston Park