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By Will Evans
The Linwood Keas and Hornby Panthers remain the only undefeated teams in the Bartercard NZ CRL Men’s Premiership - but the Celebration Lions and Halswell Hornets made big statements in round 4.
Celebration went on an 11-try rampage against Papanui Tigers, carving out an emphatic 62-20 victory.
Club stalwart Kasi Leka – starting at five-eighth – scored four tries, while brother Taniela racked up 22 points from a try and nine goals.
The Lions now have three wins and a narrow loss to the Panthers to their name in 2021. They raced out to a 32-8 halftime but refused to take their foot off the throttle in the second stanza.
Halswell also banked their third win of the campaign, powering to a 26-6 result against the Riccarton Knights. Winger Dylan Gittings scored two of the Hornets’ five tries as the home side built a 16-6 half-time lead before keeping a clean defensive sheet in the second half.
Linwood recovered from a slow start to overwhelm the Eastern Eagles 44-22 at Wainoni Park. The winless Eagles shot to a 10-0 lead but were reeled in to trail by two at the break.
The Keas hit top gear in the second half, scoring six tries to two. Centre Penitito Ilalio finished with a double.
Hornby were convincing 44-10 victors against Northern Bulldogs at Murphy Park after storming to a 22-point advantage by halftime.
The Panthers edged ahead of the Keas at the top of the Massetti Cup ladder on for-and-against.
Swans win women's nine aside tournament
Meanwhile, the Sydenham Swans women's league team won the women's nine aside tournament at Woolston Park on Sunday.
There were some exciting talent and skills on display from all teams participating.
Canterbury women's legend Mary Brennan presented the trophy named in her honour to the Sydenham captain. The score in the final was 16-4 to the Swans over the Woolsten Rams.
Bartercard New Zealand CRL Men's Premiership - round 4 results
- Halswell Hornets 26 (Dylan Gittings 2, Thomas Campbell, Tahemaka Nui tries; Jamie Nuttridge 3 goals) defeated Riccarton Knights 6 (Byron Robertson try; Mata Halbert-Pere goal) at Halswell Domain.
- Celebration Lions 62 (Kasi Leka 4, Taniela Leka, Faafetai Tuuu, Kalolo Tuuu, Fabian Kairua, David Reed, Jordan Kamana, Jarvis Ataera tries; Taniela Leka 9 goals) defeated Papanui Tigers 20 (Jared Neho 2, Caleb Tauamiti, Niko Tauamiti tries; Jamie Nicholas 2 goals) at McFarlane Park.
- Linwood Keas 42 (Penitito Ilalio 2, Ketesemani Pouli, Leon Jarden, Joseph Purcell-Mika, Mitchell Rossiter-Stone, Tapunuu Tuga Jr tries; Kyle Amer 5 goals) defeated Eastern Eagles 22 (Isilei Ngaumo 2, Junior Muaimalae, Cyrus Timo-Latu tries; Timo-Latu 2, Daniel Hartley goals) at Wainoni Park.
- Hornby Panthers 44 defeated Northern Bulldogs at Murphy Park.
ISC Sport CRL Premier Reserves - round 4 results
- Halswell Hornets 38 defeated Burnham Chevaliers 16 at Halswell Domain.
- Linwood Keas 56 defeated Eastern Eagles 0 at Wainoni Park.
- Hornby Panthers 32 defeated Ashburton Barbarians 16 at Robilliard Park.
- Marist-Papanui 20 defeated Shirley Hawks 18 at Macfarlane Park.
- Northern Bulldogs 34 defeated Woolston Rams 20 at Murphy Park.