CRL 2023: ROUND 14 CLUB WRAP
Hornby Panthers have wrapped up the Massetti Cup with one round of the 2023 CRL Men’s Premiership remaining courtesy of another statement win over perennial grand final adversaries Linwood Keas. Meanwhile, Halswell Hornets defied the wet conditions in an attacking onslaught and Riccarton Knights provided a taste of what might have been with a stirring victory over a playoffs-bound rival.
The Panthers clinched top spot and ensured they will take a 2-1 advantage in the regular-season ledger into a likely major semi-final showdown against the Keas, grafting out a 16-8 victory at Linwood Park.
Chasing their seventh win on the trot, the Jed Lawrie-coached Panthers led 10-0 and then 16-4 at halftime thanks to tries from Zinzan Martin, Champ Betham and Muipu Nati, before defending their way to a decisive result.
For-and-against is almost certain to deny the Hornets from edging the Keas out of second place, but they cemented third with a blistering 56-0 win over bottom-placed Northern Bulldogs at Halswell Domain.
Centre Nick Evans crossed for four tries and fullback Ken Tofilau bagged a hat-trick as the Hornets posted 11 four-pointers.
Riccarton has left its top-four run too late, but the Knights typified an encouraging campaign with a 24-10 defeat of fourth-placed Eastern Eagles at Wainoni Park.
The teams were locked 10-all at the end of a first-half arm-wrestle, but the Knights took the ascendancy after the break with centre Rikki Bidois completing a double.
Greymouth Greyhounds and Ashburton Barbarians remain tied for top spot in the ISC Canterbury Cup after getting wins on the road on Saturday. The Greyhounds outlasted the Eagles 26-20 at Wainoni Park, while the Barbarians carved out a 22-10 victory over the Hornets at Halswell Domain.
In the other ISC Canterbury Cup fixture, the Keas rose to outright third with a hard-fought 14-6 defeat of the Panthers.
Riccarton Knights underlined their status as Papanui Tigers’ strongest challenger in Division One with a 26-10 away win over Shirley Hawks, while Burnham Chevaliers chalked up a 36-8 home victory over Papanui’s second-tier team.
In Round 12 of the CRL Women’s Premiership, Linwood Keas and Sydenham Swans continue their march towards another grand final showdown with dominant wins on Sunday.
The ladder-leading Keas defeated Eastern Eagles 62-0 in a Wainoni Park derby to stay one point ahead of the Swans, who powered to a 40-10 victory over Burnham Chevaliers.
2023 CRL MEN’S PREMIERSHIP – MASSETTI CUP ROUND 14
Hornby Panthers 16 (Zinzan Martin, Champ Betham, Muipu Nati tries; Tevin Arona 2 goals) defeated Linwood Keas 8 (Jerome Taefu, Elijah Tuhura tries) at Linwood Park
Riccarton Knights 24 (Richard Bidois 2, Matt Hollis, Elima Faaiva tries; Matariri Halbert-Pere 4 goals) defeated Eastern Eagles 10 (Kolone Faalilo, Tyrone Stowers tries; Jimmy Rangiawha goal) at Wainoni Park
Halswell Hornets 56 (Nick Evans 4, Ken Tofilau 3, Dylan Geddis, Jamie Nuttridge, Iraia de Goldi, Ruihi Kawenga tries; Nuttridge 6 goals) defeated Northern Bulldogs 0 at Halswell Domain
2023 CRL PREMIER RESERVES – ISC CANTERBURY CUP
Ashburton Barbarians 22 defeated Halswell Hornets 10 at Halswell Domain
Linwood Keas 14 defeated Hornby Panthers 6 at Linwood Keas
Greymouth Greyhounds 26 defeated Eastern Eagles 20 at Wainoni Park
2023 CRL DIVISION ONE
Riccarton Knights 26 defeated Shirley Hawks 10 at Macfarlane Park
Burnham Chevaliers 36 defeated Papanui Div 1 at Coronation Park
Papanui Tigers WBD-LBD Northern Bulldogs
Hornby Div 1 BYE
2023 CRL WOMEN’S PREMIERSHIP ROUND 12
Linwood Keas 62 defeated Eastern Eagles 0 at Wainoni Park
Sydenham Swans 40 defeated Burnham Chevaliers 10 at Coronation Park
Woolston Rams BYE