White Horse Cup fever returns to Arrowtown after five weeks, with the town’s rugby side hosting Clyde-Earnscleugh on Saturday.
The unbeaten team’s first defences of the trophy, against Upper Clutha and especially Wakatipu, drew huge crowds to Arrowtown’s Jack Reid Park. Their most recent White Horse Cup game against Maniototo had to be played at the Events Centre due to heavy rain.
Although Arrowtown had a 35-18 away win over bottom-of-the-table Clyde-Earnscleugh in the first round, coach Blair Wilce expects a tougher contest this weekend with the cup on the line.
“There are no easy games this year.
“Hopefully it’s a nice day and lots of people turn up.”
Wilce was buoyant after Arrowtown’s last game, a 29-5 win over Matakanui in Omakau two weeks ago that avenged their only defeat last year.
Wakatipu Premiers coach Lindsay Thomas hopes his third-placed side continue their unbeaten run since
the May 2 loss to Arrowtown – they’re away to Cromwell on Saturday.
But he warns Cromwell will be far tougher than in their first-round clash, which Wakatipu won 49-15.
Battle of the Basin – Fans eye view
Why it’s gotta be Arrowtown…
Bill Swann says: They’ve got a good forward pack that’s pretty hard to roll when they get on top of the other fellows and their backs are working pretty well.
They’re not far off the strength they were last season.
It would be wonderful if they could hold the White Horse Cup for the season and get their name on it [for the first time] – it would give them a big boost again.
My tip: Arrowtown by 15 points
Why it’s gotta be Wakatipu…
Michael “Podge” Maze says: Wakatipu being Wakatipu, they tend to be a new team every year and this season it’s taken a while for them to gel together.
But they seem to be coming right – the forwards seem to be going well, there’s depth in the loosies and the backs look sharp.
I just think we’re a better team all round the paddock than Cromwell.
My tip: Wakatipu by 15 points