‘Battle of the Basin’ rugby clashes between Arrowtown and Wakatipu normally excite players and fans alike – but that won’t be the case this Saturday.
The teams square off in a third-place play-off game in Ranfurly after both lost their top-six Central Otago semi-finals last Saturday.
Arrowtown lost 22-19 to Alexandra, blowing a 19-8 lead with just 10 minutes to go.
The Wakatipu Premiers, as expected, went down 38-5 to undefeated Maniototo.
The Maniototo Rugby Club is hosting finals day this year, which is why Arrowtown and Wakatipu have to travel
all the way to Ranfurly to do battle this time.
“To be honest, it’s not something we’re looking forward to but it’s just got to be done, that’s the way the comp’s set up,” Wakatipu coach Justin Pewhairangi says.
Last year, when Wakatipu played its third-place play-off against Clyde, he says the two teams agreed to play a
social game, backs and forwards swapping positions, for example.
Arrowtown coach Drew Carmody, however, won’t buy that this time.
“We don’t want to play, but we’re certainly not going to drive two-and-a-half hours to play forwards-backs and
backs-forwards, it’s ridiculous.
“If you don’t want to play a third [versus] fourth game, you should put your hand up at the start of the season and try and get rid of it.”