Arrowtown and Wakatipu are both seeking redemption when they clash in Saturday’s semi-final of the Central Otago top-six rugby competition.
Host team Arrowtown, unbeaten all season till last Saturday’s 22-13 White Horse Cup loss to Maniototo, wants something to show for its domination this year.
The Wakatipu Premiers, meanwhile, are desperate to make up for their failed cup challenge in Arrowtown two weeks ago.
Arrowtown coach Drew Carmody says Maniototo deserved to win last weekend but is proud his team never gave up despite fielding a severely depleted forward pack.
He’s disappointed his team finished second to Maniototo despite a better win-loss record than them all season.
“It’s frustrating to go through a whole competition unbeaten until the last round and we somehow don’t finish first.
“It is crazy that 11 weeks of rugby [in the first round] doesn’t count for anything.
“We would have wrapped up first spot a couple of weeks ago if the points had been carried through [to the second round] like they should be.”
Carmody says it would be disappointing to slip at the end of a great season and not come away with some silverware.
“The White Horse Cup isn’t the be-all and end-all of the season, there’s plenty for us to play for.
“We’ll come back strong this week, look to take Wakatipu down and hopefully meet Maniototo and get our revenge in the final.”
The Wakatipu Premiers, fresh from blowing away Clyde-Earnscleugh 36-14 last Saturday, are happy to be playing Arrowtown, coach Damian Petre says.
“After our performance two weeks ago, we wanted redemption – it was definitely our preference to be playing Arrowtown in Arrowtown rather than Maniototo in Ranfurly.”
Petre – whose team lost 13-8 in Arrowtown on July 19 – says: “If we simplify what we’re doing, maintain the pressure on defence that we imposed on them last time, if we get the same level of possession and territory as we had last time and don’t make those silly errors, I think we can cause Arrowtown a few problems.
“But if our players make the same basic errors, they will again come out on the wrong side of the ledger.”
Meanwhile, the Wakatipu Wanderers beat Alexandra 22-21 at home last Saturday to qualify for the semi-finals of the bottom-five Central Otago competition.
The Wanderers play Matakanui Combined in Omakau this Saturday.