Massetti Cup co-leaders Linwood Keas and Hornby Panthers made a break on the chasing pack with victories on Saturday, after fourth-placed Eastern Eagles defeated third-placed Halswell Hornets in the Round 10 opener at Ngā Puna Wai on Friday night.

The Eagles took a major step towards sealing their place in the 2023 semi-finals with a 22-10 win over the in-form Hornets, as well as closing the gap between the clubs to just two points.

The rivals were locked 6-all at halftime at the home of Canterbury Rugby League, but the Eagles got the jump in the second half with a converted try and a penalty goal to lead 14-6. The Hornets pegged back the deficit to four points but the Eagles sealed a vital result with the last two tries of the match.

The Panthers marked their Club Day with a convincing 38-8 win against bottom-placed Northern Bulldogs. The visitors raced out of the blocks with tries to winger Mark Parkinson and halfback Taniela Leka to take a shock 8-0 advantage, but the Panthers regrouped to build a 16-8 lead by halftime.

It was one-way traffic in the second stanza as the hosts ran in four unanswered tries. Forward Devaun Thompson finished with a hat-trick, while Tevin Arona bagged a double.

The Keas endured a more nerve-wracking path to the competition points at Crosbie Park, eventually outlasting Riccarton Knights 22-16.

The defending premiers grafted out a 14-4 halftime lead and scored the first two tries after the break, but the Knights came home with a wet sail.

Riccarton’s experienced trio of Sean Spooner, Justin Lynch and Jope Tagicakibau all found their way over the line, while Linwood centre Mitchell Rossiter-Sione notched a brace, and fellow outside-backs Michael Fili and Uili Uili continued their prolific 2023 tryscoring form.

Greymouth Greyhounds retained the Thacker Shield – and their three-point lead at the top of the ISC Canterbury Cup – with a 32-22 victory over Halswell Hornets.

The Greyhounds, second-placed Ashburton Barbarians, Linwood Keas, Eastern Eagles, Hornby Panthers and Hornets will remain in the Premier Reserves competition.

Despite an outstanding 36-16 win over the Eagles on Saturday, Papanui Tigers will split off into the third-tier Division One competition for the rest of the regular season – with Riccarton Knights, Northern Bulldogs, Shirley Hawks and Burnham Chevaliers – after landing in seventh place at the end of Round 11, two points adrift of the Hornets.

The ISC Canterbury Cup Premier Reserves and Division One teams, who all retain points accrued to date, will play a further round-robin against the other sides in their respective competitions. The Tigers, who are six points ahead of their nearest Division One challenger, remain in the box-seat to qualify for the promotion/relegation fixture against the last-placed ISC Canterbury Cup outfit in early-August.

In Round 8 of the CRL Women’s Premiership on Sunday, Sydenham Swans made a big statement by inflicting defending champions Linwood Keas’ first defeat of the season – to the tune of 30-4 at Linwood Park. The emphatic result closed the gap at the top of the table between the Keas and Swans to just one point.

Woolston Rams are two points further back, consolidating third spot with a 22-10 home win over Burnham Chevaliers.



Eastern Eagles 22 (Walter Huata, Tyrone Stowers, Cyrus Timo-Latu, Uriah Esau tries; Jimmy Raniawha 3 goals) defeated Halswell Hornets 10 (Tahemaka Nui, Jacob Paul tries; Jamie Nuttridge goal) at Ngā Puna Wai

Hornby Panther 38 (Devaun Thompson 3, Tevin Arona 2, Muipu Nati, Vaione Siaki tries; Caleb Murphy 5 goals) defeated Northern Bulldogs 8 (Mark Parkinson, Taniela Leka tries) at Leslie Park

Linwood Keas 22 (Mitchell Rossiter-Sione 2, Michael Fili, Uili Uili, Daniel Hartley tries; Hartley goal) defeated Riccarton Knights 16 (Sean Spooner, Justin Lynch, Jope Tagicakibau tries; Matariri Halbert-Pere 2 goals) at Crosbie Park



Papanui Tigers 36 defeated Eastern Eagles 16 at Papanui Domain
Linwood Keas 28 defeated Riccarton Knights 24 at Crosbie Park
Hornby Panthers 50 defeated Burnham Chevaliers 16 at Leslie Park
Ashburton Barbarians 62 defeated Shirley Hawks 0 at Macfarlane Park
Greymouth Greyhounds 32 defeated Halswell Hornets 22 at Wingham Park (Thacker Shield)
Northern Bulldogs BYE


Sydenham Swans 30 defeated Linwood Keas 4 at Linwood Park
Woolston Rams 22 defeated Burnham Chevaliers 10 at Woolston Park
Eastern Eagles BYE

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