CRL 2023: ROUND 5 CLUB WRAP
Linwood Keas remain unbeaten at the top of the CRL Mens’ Premiership table after five rounds, while Hornby Panthers bounced back in impressive style and Halswell Hornets moved to outright third with a fast-finishing win in Round 5 of the Massetti Cup.
The Keas overcame a plucky Riccarton Knights outfit 34-16 at Linwood Park in one of the toughest assignments of their title defence to date.
The winless Knights trailed by just two points at halftime and were only 24-16 down midway through the second half before the champs kicked away. Winger Michael Fili finished with two of Linwood’s seven tries.
The Panthers put the previous week’s 56-16 grand final rematch loss to the Keas firmly behind them via an authoritative 44-8 victory over Northern Bulldogs at Leslie Park.
After grinding out a 16-4 advantage at the break, Hornby lifted a gear with five second half tries. Lock Zinzaan Martin grabbed a hat-trick, while five-eighth Caleb Murphy had a day out with 20 points from two tries and six goals.
The Hornets powered away to a 32-16 win over Eastern Eagles at Halswell Domain, but the top-four shootout was in the balance well into the second half.
The Eagles were 10-8 in front at halftime and the rivals were locked 14-all midway through the second half, but the Hornets finished with a wet sail to claim their third win of 2023. Winger Aukalani Laumata racked up three tries for the victorious hosts.
The Thacker Shield will stay on the West Coast for the time being after Greymouth Greyhounds’ emphatic defence of the recently reintroduced prize, defeating Shirley Hawks 62-0 in their Premier Reserves clash at Wingham Park.
The Greyhounds, who beat Papanui Tigers in Greymouth last week to take possession of the Thacker Shield, sit unbeaten at the top of the ISC Canterbury Cup ladder with Ashburton Barbarians. The Greyhounds have piled on 258 points and conceded just six in five outings this season.
Defending CRL Women’s Premiership champions Linwood Keas took out their grand final rematch against Sydenham Swans to be the only undefeated team after three rounds.
The Keas built a 14-point halftime lead and withstood a fightback from the Swans to prevail 30-20 at Bradford Park.
2023 CRL MEN’S PREMIERSHIP – MASSETTI CUP ROUND 5
Halswell Hornets 32 (Aukalani Laumata 3, Nick Evans, Jacob Nyman, Antonio Lemalu tries; Jamie Nuttridge 4 goals) defeated Eastern Eagles 16 (Mesiah Ngatuere, Solomon Leatherby, Jimmy Rangiawha tries; Rangiawha 2 goals) at Halwell Domain
Linwood Keas 32 (Michael Fili 2, Mika Moemalo Ulu, Sakiusa Lomanikaya, Ketesemane Pouli, Uriah Tuli, Leon Jarden tries; Daniel Hartley 2 goals) defeated Riccarton Knights 16 (Elima Faaiva, Justin Lynch, Max Hemmingson-White tries; Matariri Halbert-Pere 2 goals) at Linwood Park
Hornby Panthers 44 (Zinzaan Martin 3, Caleb Murphy 2, Muipu Nati, Christian Fetu, Dion Fong-Yip, tries; Murphy 6 goals) Northern Bulldogs 8 (Armstrong Beadles, Taniela Leka tries) at Leslie Park
2023 CRL PREMIER RESERVES – ISC CANTERBURY CUP ROUND 5
Eastern Eagles 42 defeated Halswell Hornets 18 at Halswell Domain
Linwood Keas 22 defeated Papanui Tigers 18 at Linwood Park
Riccarton Knights 16 defeated Burnham Chevaliers 4 at Coronation Park
Greymouth Greyhounds 62 defeated Shirley Hawks 0 at Wingham Park (Thacker Shield)
2023 CRL WOMEN’S PREMIERSHIP
Linwood Keas 30 defeated Sydenham Swans 20 at Bradford Park