CRL 2023: ROUND 7 CLUB WRAP
Linwood Keas extended their Massetti Cup lead with a seventh straight victory, while the chasing pack tightened up courtesy of gripping away wins to Eastern Eagles and Halswell Hornets in Saturday’s CRL Men’s Premiership action.
The undefeated Keas eventually wore down gritty hosts Northern Bulldogs, powering to a 44-10 win at Murphy Park after being held to just 12-6 late in the first half.
But a solo try from veteran playmaker Daniel Hartley just before the break and a four-pointer to winger Michael Fili early in the second stanza – set up by a dazzling piece of play from mercurial fullback Penetito Ilalio – put Linwood firmly in control.
Fili finished with a hat-trick and Hartley tallied 18 points from two tries and five goals, while a runaway try to electric centre Sekiusa Lomanikaya was among the highlights of a second-half onslaught from the defending premiers.
The Eagles pulled off a 30-28 win over second-placed Hornby Panthers in a Leslie Park barnburner.
The visitors led 14-12 at halftime before the Panthers hit the front with the first try of the second half. But three unanswered tries propelled the fourth-placed Eagles to a 30-18 advantage and they survived a trademark late rally from Hornby to hold on for two valuable competition points.
Winger Kolone Faalilo and hooker Cyrus Timo-Latu both scored two tries for the Eagles, while Champ Betham nabbed a double for the Panthers.
The Hornets retained outright third spot on the Massetti Cup ladder and closed the gap on the Panthers with a hard-fought 18-12 win against Riccarton Knights.
The Knights scored first in the Crosbie Park encounter, but the Hornets clawed their way to a 12-6 halftime lead and crossed first in the second half. The home side pegged a try back to cut the deficit to four points before a Jamie Nuttridge penalty goal provided some crucial breathing space.
In Round 7 of the ISC Canterbury Cup, the Panthers and unbeaten Greymouth Greyhounds played out a 30-all thriller at Leslie Park.
Meanwhile, Ashburton Barbarians and the Eagles closed to within a point of the ladder-leading Greyhounds with high-scoring wins, Papanui Tigers posted 10 tries to run out comfortable winners over the Bulldogs, and winger Francis Go notched five tries in the Hornets’ rampant victory over Shirley Hawks.
Round 5 of the CRL Women’s Premiership witnessed a remarkable coincidence, with both matches producing 28-all draws.
Burnham Chevaliers led Eastern Eagles 12-8 at halftime, but the rivals – both searching for their first win of 2023 – were forced to settle for a share of the competition points.
Woolston Rams reeled in a 22-6 halftime deficit to finish level with Sydenham Swans.
2023 CRL MEN’S PREMIERSHIP – MASSETTI CUP ROUND 7
Halswell Hornets 18 (Nicholas Evans, Kololo Tuuu, Keenan Williams tries; Jamie Nuttridge 3 goals) defeated Riccarton Knights 12 (Sidney Tagicakibau, Justin Lynch tries; Matariri Halbert-Pere 2 goals) at Crosbie Park
Eastern Eagles 30 (Kolone Faalilo 2, Cyrus Timo-Latu 2, Te Ropiha Waitokia, Mesiah Ngatuere tries; Jimmy Rangiawha 3 goals) defeated Hornby Panthers 28 (Champ Betham 2, Isileli Pulu, Makoare Matehe tries; Caleb Murphy 4 goals) at Leslie Park
Linwood Keas 44 (Michael Fili 3, Daniel Hartley 2, Sekiusa Lomanikaya, Uili Uili, Leon Jarden tries; Hartley 5, Te Kaio Cranwell goals) defeated Northern Bulldogs 10 (Cameron Godfrey, Taniela Leka tries; Jackson Becks goal) at Murphy Park
2023 CRL PREMIER RESERVES – ISC CANTERBURY CUP ROUND 7
Hornby Panthers 30 drew with Greymouth Greyhounds 30 at Leslie Park
Eastern Eagles 44 defeated Burnham Chevaliers 4 at Coronation Park
Ashburton Barbarians 46 defeated Riccarton Knights 24 at Robilliard Park
Papanui Tigers 50 defeated Northern Bulldogs 4 at Murphy Park
Halswell Hornets 68 defeated Shirley Hawks 8 at Crosbie Park
Linwood Keas BYE
2023 CRL WOMEN’S PREMIERHSIP ROUND 5
Burnham Chevaliers 28 drew with Eastern Eagles 28 at Coronation Park
Woolston Rams 28 drew with Sydenham Swans 28 at Woolston Park