The Arrowtown rugby team is gunning to regain the coveted White Horse Cup in Cromwell on Saturday.
Second-placed Arrowtown unexpectedly lost the trophy – Central Otago’s equivalent of the Ranfurly Shield – to Upper Clutha in their 13th home defence of it five weeks ago.
They get another lick at it after Cromwell beat Upper Clutha 26-16 in Wanaka last Saturday.
But Arrowtown – who enjoyed an 87-0 romp over last-placed Alexandra at the Events Centre last weekend – are under no illusions how hard it’ll be to wrestle back the cup.
“We know it’s going to be very tough ’cos we know what it means over the last couple of years to defend it,” Arrowtown coach Blair Wilce says.
“Cromwell will certainly rise to the occasion, and who wins keeps the cup for the year and gets their name on it.”
Arrowtown backs coach/player Hayden Finch says their first-round 27-5 win over Cromwell was probably their best game of the season.
“Hopefully our forwards dominate the game like last time because they’ve got outstanding backs.”
In Arrowtown’s favour is that everyone’s fit and in form – two key players back from injury are first-five Finch and No.8 Ben Chisholm, who scored five tries last weekend.
An interested spectator last Saturday was discarded All Black loosie Adam Thomson – however the club’s been unsuccessful in securing him to play.
Third-placed Wakatipu play Alexandra at home this Saturday before a likely away semi against Arrowtown on July 17.
Last weekend they beat Matakanui 18-0 in Queenstown, scoring all their points in the first half.