CRL 2023: ROUND 13 CLUB WRAP
Linwood Keas have been knocked off the top of the Massetti Cup ladder for the first time in 2023, courtesy of a stunning victory by Halswell Hornets under Ngā Puna Wai’s Friday Night Lights. Hornby Panthers assumed outright first place with a hard-fought win, while Eastern Eagles clinched their place in the CRL Men’s Premiership playoffs with two rounds remaining.
Halswell got Round 13 underway in spectacular style, defeating defending champion Linwood 25-6 in the rain at Ngā Puna Wai – the fourth and final instalment of Friday night premiership matches at the home of Canterbury Rugby League.
The third-placed Hornets crafted a 12-0 halftime lead via tries to seasoned fullback Ken Tofilau and hooker Antonio Lemalu. Two second-half tries to veteran back-rower Phil Nati – along with an outstanding defensive effort – ensured the Keas were kept at arm’s length.
Five-eighth Brodie Greig enjoyed a superb night with the boot, slotting all four conversion attempts and icing the result with a field goal.
Hornby capitalised on its archrivals’ loss by outlasting Riccarton 24-10 at Crosbie Park and moving into poll position on the ladder.
The plucky Knights held the Panthers to a 4-all scoreline at the break, but the visitors crossed for the first four tries of the second stanza to kick clear.
Jesse Rogers grabbed a double off the bench, while Panthers winger Seamus Stack edged to an outright lead in the A G Bailey Cup race with his 14th try of the season.
The result sets up a massive showdown between the Keas and Panthers next Saturday that will likely decide the Massetti Cup minor premiership, while it extinguished the Knights’ teetering finals hopes.
Eastern cemented fourth spot with a 34-16 win over Northern at Murphy Park.
The Eagles flew out of the gates with the opening four tries to lead 22-0, but the Bulldogs pegged the deficit back to 12 points in a strong finish to the first half.
The Eagles posted three tries to one after the break to clinch a comfortable two points, with fullback Mesiah Ngatuere and prolific tryscoring hooker Cyrus Timo-Latu (who took his season tally to 10) both picking up doubles. Elusive Bulldogs halfback Taniela Leka dotted down for the eighth time this year.
The top of the ISC Canterbury Cup table is deadlocked after Greymouth Greyhounds were held to a 14-all draw by Hornby Panthers and Ashburton Barbarians powered to a 50-22 home win against Eastern Eagles.
The Greyhounds and Barbarians are tied on 22 points as both strive for a place in the promotion/relegation match against the bottom-placed Massetti Cup team on August 5.
Meanwhile, Halswell Hornets took a significant step towards avoiding the promotion/relegation match against the Division One ladder-leaders thanks to a 32-10 defeat of the grade’s defending champs, Linwood Keas.
In Sunday’s sole CRL Women’s Premiership Round 11 fixture, Sydenham Swans were in a dominant mood at Wainoni Park as the powered to a 64-4 win over Eastern Eagles.
2023 𝐂𝐑𝐋 𝐌𝐄𝐍’𝐒 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐌𝐈𝐄𝐑𝐒𝐇𝐈𝐏 – 𝐌𝐀𝐒𝐒𝐄𝐓𝐓𝐈 𝐂𝐔𝐏 𝐑𝐎𝐔𝐍𝐃 𝟏𝟑
Halswell Hornets 25 (Phil Nati 2, Ken Tofilau, Antonio Lemalu tries; Brodie Greig 4 goals; Greig field goal) defeated Linwood Keas 6 (Daniel Hartley try; Hartley goal) at Ngā Puna Wai
Eastern Eagles 34 (Mesiah Ngatuere 2, Cyrus Timo-Latu 2, Peneli Peneli, Uale Peneli, Harold Kolose tries; Henare Nukunuku 3 goals) defeated Northern Bulldogs 16 (Jackson Becks, Taniela Leka, Rawiri Mansfield tries; Becks 2 goals) at Murphy Park
Hornby Panthers 24 (Jesse Rogers 2, Muipu Nati, Seamus Stack, Vaione Siaki tries; Tevin Arona 2 goals) defeated Riccarton Knights 10 (Justin Lynch, Sidney Tagicakibau tries; Matariri Halbert-Pere goal) at Crosbie Park
2023 𝐂𝐑𝐋 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐌𝐈𝐄𝐑 𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐑𝐕𝐄𝐒 – 𝐈𝐒𝐂 𝐂𝐀𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐑𝐁𝐔𝐑𝐘 𝐂𝐔𝐏
Halswell Hornets 32 defeated Linwood Keas 10 at Halswell Domain
Ashburton Barbarians 50 defeated Eastern Eagles 12 at Robilliard Park
Hornby Panthers 14 drew with Greymouth Greyhounds 14 at Crosbie Park
2023 𝐂𝐑𝐋 𝐃𝐈𝐕𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐎𝐍𝐄
Riccarton Knights 34 defeated Hornby Panthers 10 at Crosbie Park
Burnham Chevaliers 12 defeated Northern Bulldogs 8 at Murphy Park
Papanui Div 1 28 defeated Shirley Hawks 18 at Macfarlane Park
2023 CRL WOMEN’S PREMIERHSIP ROUND 11
Sydenham Swans 64 defeated Eastern Eagles 4 at Wainoni Park
Linwood Keas defeated Woolston Rams by default
Photo Credit: Abraham Atherton Photography