CRL WEEKEND PREVIEW
WEEKEND PREVIEW – JULY 8-10
Canterbury Rugby League’s 14s and 16s youth night competitions are taking a two-week break, but there’s plenty to look forward to this weekend on the representative front.
Canterbury’s 14s, 16s and 18s boys teams will be aiming to emulating their girls counterparts brilliant efforts in retaining their South Island titles last Sunday at Oamaru’s Centennial Park when they head south for the South Island Boys Youth Tournament at the same venue from July 8-10.
Meanwhile, there’s a big weekend ahead locally in CRL’s senior competitions.
The penultimate regular-season round of the CRL Men’s Premiership is headlined by the third grand final rematch of 2023 between archrivals Hornby Panthers and Linwood Keas at Linwood Park, with the winner likely to carry off the Massetti Cup – and home-ground advantage ahead of the clubs’ impending showdown in week one of the playoffs.
The Keas surrendered the competition lead to the Panthers for the first time this year courtesy of their loss to Halswell Hornets under Friday Night Lights at Ngā Puna Wai last week. The season’s ledger is square so far: Linwood powered to a 56-16 home win in April, but Hornby turned the tables 42-28 at Leslie Park six weeks ago.
In Saturday’s other Massetti Cup encounters, the third-placed Hornets host Northern Bulldogs and Riccarton Knights make their way across town to take on Eastern Eagles. All matches kick off at 2.45pm.
It’s crunch time in the ISC Canterbury Cup, too, with Greymouth Greyhounds and Ashburton Barbarians tied for top spot on the ladder and in the race for the promotion/relegation match. Both teams are playing on the road – the Greyhounds against the Eagles at Wainoni Park and the Barbarians against the Hornets at Halswell Domain.
The other match, between 2022 grand finalists the fourth-placed Keas and third-placed Panthers, is also crucial. Both are on 18 points, with the Hornets and Eagles two points adrift.
Papanui Tigers can clinch top spot in Division One and a berth in the promotion/relegation match with a win over Northern Bulldogs at Halswell Domain on Saturday. Elsewhere, Shirley Hawks host second-placed Riccarton Knights at Macfarlane Park and Burnham Chevaliers face Papanui’s Div 1 side at Coronation Park.
Sunday’s CRL Women’s Premiership fixtures sees Sydenham Swans head to Coronation Park to take on the Chevaliers and the ladder-leading Keas squaring off against the neighbouring Eagles at Wainoni Park.