CRL YOUTH WRAP & WEEKEND PREVIEW
YOUTH WRAP – MAY 13-17
We’re three rounds deep into the 2023 Canterbury Rugby League youth night competitions and this week’s fixtures produced some outstanding contests.
In 18s boys action, Hornby Panthers maintained their status as the only unbeaten team with a 26-20 win over Halswell Hornets at Brookside Park. Linwood Keas bounced back from their Round 2 loss to the Panthers with a hard-fought 20-16 victory against Papanui Tigers at Avonhead Park.
Earlier on Monday evening, Hornby Panthers Black defeated Celebration Lions 28-4 at Ngā Puna Wai and Linwood Keas overwhelmed Papanui Tigers 54-4 at Avonhead Park to go 3-0 in the 16s boys competition. In the other encounter, Hornby Panthers White were too good for Woolston Rams, winning 26-10 at Ngā Puna Wai.
Wednesday’s 14s boys matches at Ngā Puna Wai saw Sydenham Swans rack up a 66-6 win over Eastern Eagles, Linwood Keas outlasting Papanui Tigers 30-16 and Riccarton Knights stay top of the table with a 56-4 defeat of Hornby Panthers.
Hornby Panthers were the standout team of the ‘game of three halves’ 14s girls event at Brookside Park on Monday that also featured Northern Bulldogs and Riccarton Knights, while Riccarton Knights, Shirley Hawks, Northern Bulldogs and Linwood Keas fielded 16s girls teams at Crosbie Park on Wednesday night.
Last Saturday, the 18s girls competition got underway as part of Horny Panthers’ Women in League celebrations at Leslie Park. The Panthers carved out an 18-4 win over Linwood Keas in an exciting match.
WEEKEND PREVIEW – MAY 19-21
The second instalment of the 2023 CRL Men’s Premiership ‘Friday Night Lights’ series at Ngā Puna Wai unfolds this week, with Riccarton Knights and Hornby Panthers squaring off in their Round 8 Massetti Cup encounter at 7pm.
The second-placed Panthers are striving to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to Eastern Eagles, while the improving Knights are hunting their second win of the season.
In Saturday’s premiership matches, unbeaten defending champs Linwood Keas host the third-placed Halswell Hornets and fourth-placed Eastern Eagles are a chance of climbing up a run on the ladder when they welcome Northern Bulldogs to Wainoni Park. Both clashes kick off at 2.45pm.
With four rounds remaining before ISC Canterbury Cup competition splits – with the top six sides staying in the Premier Reserves and the bottom five teams reforming Division One – each weekend’s results increase in importance.
Round 8’s key fixture sees fourth-placed Papanui Tigers and seventh-placed Hornby Panthers (who are just one point behind the Tigers) lock horns at Papanui Domain, while unbeaten Greymouth Greyhounds make the journey to Robilliard Park for a top-of-the-table showdown with Ashburton Barbarians – a massive showdown in the context of qualifying for the promotion/relegation match later this season.
All ISC Canterbury Cup matches get underway at 1pm on Saturday.
It’s a Ngā Puna Wai double-header in Round 5 of the CRL Women’s Premiership on Sunday, with Sydenham Swans facing Eastern Eagles at 1pm and defending champs lining up against Woolston Rams at 2.35pm.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s cold and wet weather forecast has prompted Linwood Keas to postpone their scheduled Club Day.
Main image credit: Dai Roberts