Club Day and a major individual milestone add another edge to a huge Crosbie Park showdown in Round 7 of the CRL Whitehead Plumbing & Gas Men’s Premiership, while matches at Linwood Park and Papanui Domain may also have a significant bearing on a super-tight race for the Massetti Cup and finals spots.

Riccarton Knights will have extra motivation in their top-of-the-table clash with Halswell Hornets on their 2024 Club Day at Crosbie Park.

The CRL Whitehead Plumbing & Gas Pre-season Competition finalists boast identical 4-2 records and plus-50 points differentials. Both sides are coming off convincing wins last weekend: the Hornets bounced back from their loss to Eastern Eagles by defending the Thacker Shield against Greymouth Greyhounds 36-20, and the Knights made it four straight victories with an emphatic 38-10 away defeat of Hornby Panthers.

As well as striving to atone for a 20-4 Round 2 loss at Halswell Domain, the Knights are celebrating Kolio Vailu’u’s 200th premier game for the club.

Second-rower Vailu’u becomes just the second player to achieve the milestone for the Knights, after current club president and 300-gamer Shane Tamatea.

The second grand final rematch showdown of 2024 at Linwood Park shapes as a pivotal encounter for both clubs.

Linwood Keas, with three wins and two draws from their six matches, are looking to retain a share of the competition lead, while the fifth-placed Panthers will be eager to make up ground after falling three points off the pace with their heavy loss to the Knights.

The archrivals, who have contested seven of the last eight CRL premiership deciders, played out a spectacular 26-all draw in Round 2 with the Panthers surging late at Leslie Park. The Keas were also run down in the dying stages last week in a 24-all draw with the Eagles.

The Greyhounds’ quest for a maiden victory in Canterbury Rugby League’s top flight continues when they host the Eagles at Papanui Domain.

The West Coasters have fought gamely week in, week out without reward so far – coming closest to a historic W when they met the Eagles at Waioni Park five weeks ago. The Greyhounds scored the only two tries of the first half and – after being reeled in by the hosts – edged 17-16 in front courtesy of a Mac Gibson field goal inside the last 10 minutes. But Eastern hooker Cyrus Timo-Latu broke the gallant Greyhounds’ hearts with a last-gasp try.

All three CRL Whitehead Plumbing & Gas fixtures kick off at 2.45pm on Saturday, preceded by the corresponding CRL ISC Sport Canterbury Cup matches at the same venues at 1pm.

The Premier Reserves docket includes the table-topping Eagles’ encounter with the Tigers at Papanui Domain, while bottom-placed defending champs the Keas are aiming to climb off the canvas against competition co-leaders the Panthers.

In Division One, there’s a top-four clash between Shirley Hawks and Ashburton Barbarians at Macfarlane Park (1pm), high-flying Woolston Rams make their way out to Coronation Park to take on Burnham Chevaliers (1pm), and the bottom four teams are aiming to close the gap on the competition front-runners when the Knights and Hornets square off at Crosbie Park (2.15pm) and the Tigers host Addington Magpies at Papanui Domain (2.30pm).


The Hornby-Linwood rivalry ramps up again on Sunday courtesy of the headline match-up in Round 3 of the CRL Bartercard Women’s Premiership at Leslie Park.

New entrants into the 2024 competition, the Panthers backed up a 64-6 win over Eastern Eagles in the opening round with a 24-16 statement against 2022-23 runners-up Sydenham Swans last weekend. The Keas responded to a first-up loss to the Swans via a 60-0 defeat of Addington Magpies.

The Swans will look to regroup on their away assignment against Woolston Rams, who emerged from the first-round bye with a 32-14 win over the Eagles in their opening match of the season.

Burnham Chevaliers, 58-6 victors against the Magpies in Round 1 before cooling their heels last weekend on the bye, travel to Wainoni Park to take on the Eagles.

All three CRL Bartercard Women’s Premiership matches get underway at 1pm on Sunday.

Share this