Aranui upset at controversial finish

ANTHONY MORGAN
Last updated 18:46 15/06/2013

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The Hornby Panthers avenged their early season defeat to Aranui when they beat the Eagles 12-10 in a game that ended in controversial circumstances at Leslie Park today.

With 10 minutes to play Hornby took their first lead of the game through Paradise Mann who crashed over under the posts.

Before James Baxendale had the opportunity to convert the try, referee Steve Toms made the decision to call the game off prematurely.

There had been questions asked about the final pass that put Mann over the line and whether it was forward or not.

It is understood Toms called the game off due to dissent from both the Aranui players and their supporters. 

Aranui coach Maurice Emslie said it continued a season of tough breaks for the eastern club.

"I'm not too sure why it was called off," he said.

"We were playing out of our skins and we've had to put up with a lot of this sort of stuff which is really disappointing."

After leading 10-4 at halftime, Aranui had been clinging to a two-point lead despite a 12-3 penalty count against them before Mann struck what turned into the final blow.

Papanui made a statement of intent when they inflicted Linwood's first loss of the season, a 28-12 hammering at Papanui Domain.

Despite playing with only one man on the bench for the second half, the Tigers had the Keas measure with the damage being done in the first spell.

Papanui led 22-6 at halftime following tries to James Wihongi, Chad Tainui, Corey Telau and Graeme Rauhihi before a committed defensive display prevented a Keas' comeback.

Halswell kept the pressure on Linwood at the top of the table after their tight 14-12 win over Celebration at Cuthberts Green while the Northern Bulldogs edged Riccarton 18-6 in Kaiapoi to keep their top four hopes alive.

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