CRL 2023: ROUND 12 CLUB WRAP
Canterbury Rugby League’s inaugural Massetti Cup Magic Round at Ngā Puna Wai saw the premiership’s top three teams consolidate their positions on the table with three regular-season matches remaining. Linwood Keas dominated from start to finish, while Hornby Panthers and Halswell Hornets powered to convincing wins on the back of assertive second-half performances.
The Keas put bottom-placed Northern Bulldogs to the sword 60-0 to get Magic Round off to a free-flowing start.
The defending champs led 32-0 at halftime and had run in 12 tries by fulltime, with fullback Jerome Taefu, young halves Te Kaio Cranwell and Ketesemane Pouli, and interchange Sakiusa Lomanikaya each picking up doubles.
Hornby joined ladder-leading Linwood on a 10-2 record with a fifth straight win, overwhelming fourth-placed Eastern Eagles 24-0.
The Panthers were only 6-0 ahead at the break but posted another three converted tries in the second stanza. Caleb Murphy scored half of the Panthers’ points via a try and four goals, while fellow backs Denis Davey and Seamus Stack, and indefatigable veteran Corey Lawrie also found their way over for four-pointers.
Stack’s 13th try of the season kept him on top in the race for the A G Bailey Cup alongside Keas winger Michael Fili, who dotted down earlier in the afternoon.
The Hornets kicked four points clear of the Eagles in third spot, but they had to peg back a double-digit deficit before carving out a 30-10 victory over Riccarton Knights.
The Knights got out to a 10-0 lead through tries to centre Jamieson Ilalio and second-rower Sidney Tagicakibau. But the Hornets trimmed the gap to four points by halftime and scored another four unanswered tries in the second half.
Experienced winger Nick Evans finished with a hat-trick for the Hornets, while fellow premiership stalwarts, fullback Ken Tofilau and back-rower Phil Nati, also crossed for Halswell.
The result left the fifth-placed Knights four points adrift of the Eagles with three rounds to play.
In Sunday’s CRL Women’s Premiership doubleheader at Ngā Puna Wai, Sydenham Swans put their stamp on second spot with a 58-4 rout of Woolston Rams in the early fixture. The Swans stayed just one point behind table-topping Linwood Keas – who had the Round 10 bye – and pushed four points clear of the third-placed Rams.
The later clash between a pair of winless rivals saw Burnham Chevaliers snare a 34-14 victory over Eastern Eagles.
2023 CRL MEN’S PREMIERSHIP – MASSETTI CUP ROUND 12
Linwood Keas 60 (Jerome Taefu 2, Te Kaio Cranwell 2, Ketesemane Pouli 2, Sakiusa Lomanikaya 2, Michael Fili, Mitchell Rossiter-Sione, Chanel Feala, Maoluma Sakaria tries; Cranwell 3, Pouli 2, Fili goals) defeated Northern Bulldogs 0 at Ngā Puna Wai
Hornby Panthers 24 (Denis Davey, Caleb Murphy, Seamus Stack, Corey Lawrie tries; Murphy 4 goals) defeated Eastern Eagles 0 at Ngā Puna Wai
Halswell Hornets 30 (Nicholas Evans 3, Ken Tofilau, Phil Nati tries; Jamie Nuttridge 5 goals) defeated Riccarton Knights 10 (Jamieson Ilalio, Sidney Tagicakibau tries; Matariri Halbert-Pere goal) at Ngā Puna Wai
2023 CRL MEN’S PREMIERSHIP ROUND 10
Sydenham Swans 58 defeated Woolston Rams 4 at Ngā Puna Wai
Burnham Chevaliers 34 defeated Eastern Eagles 14 at Ngā Puna Wai
Linwood Keas BYE
Photo Credit: Abraham Atherton Photography