COA News 2024



The Canterbury Rugby League’s second annual Ngā Puna Wai Magic Round delivered three consecutive enthralling CRL Whitehead Plumbing & Gas Men’s Premiership encounters in perfect conditions, with Linwood Keas flexing their attacking muscles, Riccarton Knights recording their first win of the season and Halswell Hornets remained undefeated with an impressive derby win.

It was Greymouth Greyhounds who got Magic Round off to a flying start in glorious sunshine in the opening match on Ngā Puna Wai’s number 1 pitch, rocking the Keas with early tries against Jordan Campbell and Dean Wisdom.

But the defending champions got on the scoreboard midway through the first half, before adding four tries in a thrilling seven-minute burst to take a healthy 28-10 lead – by which point wily playmaker Daniel Hartley had already hat. trick.

The Keas turned away the top-flight newcomers with five more tries, winning 52-14 after the Greyhounds grabbed a consolation four-pointer through Jacob Lowe. Hartley added five goals for a 22-point haul.

The Knights’ matchup with Eastern Eagles remained in the balance until the final ten minutes, when a quick double to center Tristan Griffith sealed a 24-14 win.

The Eagles opened the scoring through Carlos Te Rupe Jones’ try, but the Knights opened a 10-point lead with three unanswered tries. Uale Peneli produced a tight finish when he crossed 20 minutes before the Knights’ late attack.

The Ngā Puna Wai triple-header concluded with a much-anticipated westside derby, which saw Halswell Hornets see off Hornby Panthers 28-16 after a dominant first-half performance.

The Panthers won all four clashes between the neighboring rivals in 2023, but the Hornets ran out of the blocks with four tries to none for an 18-0 halftime advantage.

Hornby rallied in a seesaw second stanza but never reduced the deficit to less than 12 points, leaving Halswell to retain their place at the top of the CRL Whitehead Plumbing & Gas Men’s Premiership ladder as the only team with a 3-0 record ‘.

In the showdown of the only unbeaten teams in the ISC Canterbury Cup, Eastern Eagles recorded a 38-18 victory over Riccarton Knights at No. 2 Ngā Puna Wai – with front rower Cameron Tukapua collecting their first and last tries.

Last year’s Premier Reserves champions Linwood Keas are still looking for their first win of the season after losing 42-20 to Papanui Tigers, while Hornby Panthers were too good for Halswell Hornets to win 36-18 in Leslie Park.

Northern Bulldogs continued their early season dominant run in Division One with a 60-0 defeat of the Knights. Ashburton Barbarians and Shirley Hawks suffered their first losses of 2024 – to Woolston Rams (38-16) and the Hornets (38-36) respectively – and Burnham Chevaliers hit the ground running with a convincing 34-14 defeat of Addington Magpies.


Linwood Keas 52 (Daniel Hartley 3, Elijah Tuhura 2, Maoluma Sakaria, Uili Uili, Izyah Hesp, Matthew Logopati, Michael Nicholls-Cane tries; Hartley 5, Logopati goals) defeated Greymouth Greyhounds 14 Jordan Campbell, Dean Wisdom, Jacob Lowe tries; Low target) at Ngā Puna Wai

Riccarton Knights 24 (Tristan Griffith 2, Te Morehu Reweti, Arlan Perez, Jamieson Ilalio tries; Reweti 2 goals) defeated East Eagles 14 (Carlos Te Rupe Jones, Uale Peneli, Simon Uliano tries; goal Henare Nukunuku) at Ngā Puna Wai

Halswell hornets 28 (Joshua Aileone 2, Ken Tofilau, Tahemaka Nui, Ollie Hansen, Antonio Lemalu tries; Cameron-Brody Greig, Jacob Nyman goals) defeated Hornby Panthers 16 (Eti Collins, Christian Fetu, Muipu Nati tries; Tyrone Hill 2 goals) at Ngā Puna Wai


Papanui Tigers 42 defeated Linwood Keas 20 at Papanui Domain
Hornby Panthers 36 defeated Halswell Hornets 18 at Leslie Park
Eastern Eagles 38 defeated Riccarton Knights 18 at Ngā Puna Wai


Halswell Hornets 38 defeated Shirley Hawks 36 at Halswell Domain
Northern Bulldogs 60 defeated Riccarton Knights 0 at Ngā Puna Wai
Burnham Chevaliers 34 defeated Addington Magpies 14 at Spreydon Domain
Woolston Rams 38 defeated Ashburton Barbarians 16 at Robilliard Park
Papanui Tigers BYE

Images credit: Abraham Atherton Photography