Arrowtown’s anger that it can’t challenge Wakatipu for rugby’s coveted White Horse Cup is shared by Wakatipu captain Regan Pearce.
In the new top-six round, Arrowtown are playing Wakatipu for a second time this season at home, rather than in Queenstown where the cup would be up for grabs – and Arrowtown are gutted.
Arrowtown also missed out a challenge last year as they played in Queenstown before Wakatipu won the cup.
Pearce says it’s unfair Alexandra, last Saturday, and Upper Clutha, on Saturday week, get a second cup challenge this season yet Arrowtown miss out.
“It’s a disgrace the way the competition’s been put together.
“It’s like some bloody slap-happy monkeys have got around the boardroom and gone, ‘oh yeah, they can play each other again’.
“As far as we knew, whoever you played at home in the first round, you played away in the second.”
Wakatipu Rugby Club president Damien O’Connell says: “Sadly for Arrowtown they miss out on a challenge, but it’s good for us because we don’t have to play them at home.”
Pearce adds: “I want to play Arrowtown at home, they are deserving of their challenge.”
Central Otago council of clubs chair Lindsay Breen says: “Because we don’t have the same teams in this round we have had to try and even up the total number of home games played over the season rather than exactly who has played home and away against each other.
“This is about clubs being able to get home games because the bar is how a lot of clubs make the money they need to run the club. This was discussed at a council of clubs meeting and understood by clubs.”
Arrowtown coach Hayden Finch says it’s ridiculous the Wakatipu game on July 27 won’t be in Queenstown.
“The club’s gutted, the supporters are gutted and the boys are gutted.
“The White Horse Cup is seen by every club as the most important trophy of the season so everyone should get an opportunity to play for it.”
Arrowtown club president Simon Spark: “We love playing in Queenstown, whether it’s for the cup or not. They love hosting Arrowtown as we love hosting Wakatipu. It’s part of what our rugby is in the basin, two teams, fierce rivalry, loyal supporters.”
Unbeaten Wakatipu were again lucky to hold onto the cup last Saturday, drawing 12-all with Alexandra.
On Saturday they play Maniototo in Ranfurly without Pearce, who has torn shoulder ligaments. Concussed loosie Toi Roberts and centre Danny King, who injured ankle ligaments, are also out.
Arrowtown lost 17-10 to Cromwell last weekend, and are home to Upper Clutha on Saturday.
The Wakatipu Wanderers, who lost their second division game to Matakanui Combined 38-5, are at home to Cromwell Black.