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By Will Evans
The Hornby Panthers claimed top spot on the Bartercard NZ CRL Men’s Premiership ladder after outlasting archrivals the Linwood Keas on Saturday, while the other round 5 results have created a fascinating mid-table log-jam.
The Panthers rolled the five-time champions 14-10 at Leslie Park after leading 10-4 at half-time.
Young skipper Sincere Harraway again played an integral role with two of the Panthers’ three tries. The South Island 20s’ hooker and a specialist half has been starring from fullback in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, the Riccarton Knights and Northern Bulldogs chalked up their second wins of the 2021 campaign, downing third-placed Celebration Lions and fourth-placed Halswell Hornets respectively with strong second-half displays.
Northern powered to a 28-18 victory after leading Halswell 10-8 at the break. Veteran half Izic Placid scored three tries for the Frank Endacott-coached Bulldogs, thwarting a Hornets side who have started the season strongly under the tutelage of Walter Wilson.
The Eastern Eagles got off the mark with a comprehensive 46-18 win over the Papanui Tigers. Centre Pio Ioane crossed for four tries as the Eagles capitalised on a 16-point half-time lead, leaving the Tigers as the only winless side in the competition.
The CRL Women’s Premiership kicked off with a Mother’s Day double-header at Ngā Puna Wai on Sunday afternoon.
Defending champs Sydenham Swans outlasted the Linwood Keas 26-22, while last year’s beaten grand-finalists, the Woolston Rams, accounted for the Eastern Eagles 36-12.
BARTERCARD NZ CRL MEN’S PREMIERSHIP ROUND 5 RESULTS
- Hornby Panthers 14 (Sincere Harraway 2, Charlie Charlie tries; Caleb Murphy goal) defeated Linwood Keas 10 (Ketesemane Pouli, Penetito Ilalio tries; Kyle Amer goal) at Leslie Park.
- Northern Bulldogs 28 (Izic Placid 3, Josh Endacott, Cameron Godfrey tries; Endacott 4 goals) defeated Halswell Hornets 18 (Ken Tofilau 2, Dylan Gittings, Iraia de Goldi tries; Toi Sepuloni goal) at Murphy Park.
- Riccarton Knights 20 (Jahrome Clark 2, Justin Lynch, Conner Hibbs tries; Matarike Pose 2 goals) defeated Celebration Lions 14 (Kasi Leka 2, Taniela Leka tries; Taniela Leka goal) at Coronation Park.
- Eastern Eagles 46 defeated Papanui Tigers at Papanui Domain.
ISC SPORT CRL PREMIER RESERVES ROUND 5 RESULTS
- Northern Bulldogs 28 defeated Halswell Hornets 10 at Murphy Park.
- Linwood Keas 36 defeated Hornby Panthers 10 at Leslie Park.
- Shirley Hawks 30 defeated Burnham Chevaliers 22 at Coronation Park.
- Marist-Papanui 74 defeated Ashburton Barbarians 0 at Bishopdale Park.
- Woolston Rams 20-0 Eastern Eagles.
CRL WOMEN’S PREMIERSHIP ROUND 1 RESULTS
- Woolston Rams 36 defeated Eastern Eagles 12 at Ngā Puna Wai.
- Sydenham Swans 26 defeated Linwood Keas 22 at Ngā Puna Wai.