The Wakatipu and Arrowtown Premiers rugby sides head into their much-awaited derby game in Queenstown this Saturday in vastly contrasting positions.
Wakatipu coach Justin Pewhairangi says his team’s keen to make amends after a 24-3 loss to Maniototo in Ranfurly last weekend, where they barely fired a shot.
Arrowtown coach Drew Carmody, on the other hand, is demanding his team maintains the high standard it set in last Saturday’s 41-17 demolition of Alexandra.
“If the boys turn up with the same mindset we had last weekend and hit the ground running, I’ll be very confident,” he says.
“We’ve had an up and down season but we reached a pretty decent high against Alexandra, we need to make sure that’s the standard now.”
Arrowtown’s also keen to extend its four-game winning streak against Wakatipu which goes back two years.
“We want to keep that streak going and see if we can extend their pain a wee bit longer against their little brother.”
The Wakatipu Prems, meanwhile, are coming off a disappointing White Horse Cup challenge in which Maniototo dominated the set piece.
“We were just playing off scraps for the rest of the game,” Pewhairangi says.
“The boys are pretty gutted - they’re looking to make amends so it’s good [the derby’s] come a week later.”
He rates Arrowtown as pretty strong across the board.
But he suggests if his backs get some fast ball they can create some havoc.
“I’m confident we can beat anyone in the top-six, on the day.”
Besides bragging rights, the derby’s also important for both teams’ chances of making the Central Otago semi-finals - and ideally, a home semi.
Kick-off is at Queenstown Rec Ground this Saturday, 2.30pm. Wakatipu Wanderers, meanwhile, have another bye in the bottom-four competition.