Arrowtown wary of White Horse Cup rugby ambush

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The Arrowtown rugby coach believes Saturday’s final White Horse Cup defence will be even tougher than last weekend’s. 

Unbeaten Arrowtown, who posted a hard-fought but deserved 13-8 victory over the Wakatipu Premiers, plays second-placed Manio- toto at home in the last round-robin game before the finals. 

“If we thought last week was hard, it’s only going to get tougher,” coach Drew Carmody says. 

“I think Maniototo really want that White Horse Cup, I get a feeling that this week’s more important for them than the following two weeks.” 

Carmody says the Hore brothers, former All Black Andrew and big-kicking first-five Charlie, again post the biggest threat. 

“Charlie is the key in this competition – he runs that team unbelievably well and if you can shut him down, you’re a decent way to giving yourself a shot.” 

Having defended the cup since taking it off Wakatipu in early May, Carmody says it would be disappointing to lose it at the last hurdle. 

Carmody says his team’s task is being made even harder because his forward pack has been depleted by injury and unavailability – “we will be ringing around a few old players this week trying to drag an extra one or two along”. 

The coach, who only took over the team last month, says his team’s defence was the key to last Saturday’s ‘Battle of the Basin’ win. 

“We didn’t make a lot of opportunities with the ball but we D’ed up well.” 

Wakatipu coach Damian Petre says his players have no excuses: “We dominated territory and possession but unfortunately we tried to play like the Harlem Globetrotters and made mistakes. 

“To Arrowtown’s credit, they had limited opportunities but made the most of every one – they played smarter rugby than we did.” 

Petre’s team plays Clyde-Earnscleugh at Queenstown this Saturday, chasing a win to ensure it qualifies for the semis the following week. 

“We need a good performance to get ourselves into position so the week after we’ve got a shot.” 

The Wakatipu Wanderers play Alexandra in a curtain-raiser.