CRL 2023: ROUND 8 CLUB WRAP
Halswell Hornets made a mighty Massetti Cup statement by inflicting Linwood Keas’ first defeat of the 2023 season, while Hornby Panthers and Eastern Eagles consolidated their positions with convincing wins in Round 8 of the CRL Men’s Premiership.
In the second instalment of the premiership’s Friday night series at Ngā Puna Wai, a dominant first-half performance set the Panthers on course for a 36-20 victory over Riccarton Knights.
Hornby powered to a 22-2 lead by halftime, but to its credit Riccarton fought back impressively in a second stanza that finished three tries apiece. Seamus Stack’s prolific season on the Panthers’ wing continued with three tries and halfback Dion Fong-Yip grabbed a double.
Wet weather forced the postponement of Linwood Keas’ Club Day and the relocation of their Massetti Cup fixture to Ngā Puna Wai – and Halswell Hornets capitalised on the change to a neutral venue to claim an 18-8 win over the previously unbeaten defending champs.
The Hornets led 12-4 at the break and held firm in a second-half arm-wrestle that produced one try each. Jamie Nuttridge’s goalkicking proved vital in the three-tries-to-two result – his three successful conversions gave the Hornets breathing space, with winger Michael Fili’s brace of tries the sum total of the Keas’ scoring.
The Eagles backed up last week’s stunning win over the Panthers at Leslie Park with an authoritative 46-10 defeat of bottom-placed Northern Bulldogs at Wainoni Park.
The home side ran in nine tries – four unconverted touchdowns to lead 16-6 at halftime, then five after the break – with outside-backs Kalone Faalilo, Deijdr’e Siaki and Peneli Peneli, and halfback Mesiah Ngatuere all picking up doubles.
Greymouth Greyhounds retained the outright competition lead in the ISC Canterbury Cup – and pole position for a shot at a 2024 Massetti Cup spot courtesy of the promotion-relegation fixture in August – with a 20-6 away win over high-flying Ashburton Barbarians.
The Eagles leapfrogged the Barbarians into outright second thanks to a 44-0 shutout of the Bulldogs.
The premier reserves mid-table scramble is also heating up just three rounds out from the top-six ISC Canterbury Cup/bottom-five Division One split. Hornby carved out a crucial 18-10 win over Papanui to move into sixth spot, with the Tigers tumbling to seventh.
Last season’s CRL Women’s Premiership grand final combatants both enjoyed resounding Round 6 wins in Sunday’s double-header at Ngā Puna Wai.
Sydenham Swans overwhelmed Eastern Eagles 56-12 in the opening clash, before defending champs Linwood Keas ran out 48-4 winners over third-placed Woolston Rams to stay unbeaten at the top of the standings.
2023 CRL MEN’S PREMIERSHIP – MASSETTI CUP ROUND 8
Hornby Panthers 36 (Seamus Stack 3, Dion Fong-Yip 2, Denis Davey, Lewis Allan tries; Caleb Murphy 4 goals) defeated Riccarton Knights 20 (Elima Faaiva, Matt Hollis, Sidney Tagicakibau tries; Kassius Halbert-Pere 3, Matariki Halbert-Pere goals) at Ngā Puna Wai
Halswell Hornets 18 (Ken Tofilau, Kalolo Tuuu, Josh Everett tries; Jamie Nuttridge 3 goals) defeated Linwood Keas 8 (Michael Fili 2 tries) at Ngā Puna Wai
Eastern Eagles 46 (Kalone Faalilo 2, Deijdr’e Siaki 2, Peneli Peneli 2, Mesiah Ngatuere 2, Cyrus Timo-Latu tries; Henare Nukunuku 2, Jimmy Rangiawha goals) defeated Northern Bulldogs 10 (Taniela Leka, George Robert Smith tries; Jackson Becks goal) at Wainoni Park
2023 CRL PREMIER RESERVES – ISC CANTERBURY CUP ROUND 8
Hornby Panthers 18 defeated Papanui Tigers 10 at Papanui Domain
Halswell Hornets 28 defeated Burnham Chevaliers at Halswell Domain
Eastern Eagles 44 defeated Northern Bulldogs 0 at Wainoni Park
Linwood Keas 60-0 Shirley Hawks
Greymouth Greyhounds 20 defeated Ashburton Barbarians 6 at Robilliard Park
Riccarton Knights BYE
2023 CRL WOMEN’S PREMIERHSIP ROUND 6
Sydenham Swans 56 defeated Eastern Eagles 12 at Ngā Puna Wai
Linwood Keas 48 defeated Woolston Rams 4 at Ngā Puna Wai