Top-of-the-table Wakatipu Premiers were rattled by a more determined Arrowtown in an exciting rugby derby last Saturday.
Reversing their first-round result, the Arrowtown Bulls won 25-18 on Wakatipu’s home ground.
Arrowtown coach Simon Spark says he’s proud of his players.
“Even the guys that didn’t make the squad were all supporting their teammates.
“I guess the motivation for us was a wee bit more as they’re well out in front [of the competition].”
He notes his team’s improved defence paid dividends when they held out Wakatipu in the final five to 10 minutes.
Second-placed Arrowtown finish the round-robin Central Otago comp-etition with a home game against Matakanui at the Queenstown Events Centre this Saturday, starting 2.30pm.
Wakatipu, meanwhile, face the tough prospect of playing Maniototo in Ranfurly.
Their coach Justin Pewhairangi says his team wasn’t hungry enough last Saturday.
Arrowtown, he observed, were pumped up – “they were talking to each other, geeing each other at breakdowns and lineouts”.
“It felt like we were playing knowing that the finals were coming up and looking too far to the future.”
He’s calling on his players to rediscover the spark he thinks they’ve lost in the past month.
“We need it because the top four teams are all pretty good.”
The Wakatipu Wanderers, who beat Gore’s Pioneer 32-15 last weekend, are away to Invercargill Blues this Saturday.