Coach Wilce sees red


Arrowtown’s rugby coach is seeing red – about seeing too much red.

The team remained unbeaten in the Premiers Central Otago competition after last weekend’s 12-3 away win over Cromwell – but his boys were handicapped because both teams wore almost identical strips, Blair Wilce says.

Both sides had red jerseys, blue shorts and red-blue socks.

“It was bloody hard to tell who was what – I think that played a big factor in the game.

“We threw away balls which we probably thought we were throwing to our guys – it made the whole game pretty messy.

“When we play next, one of the clubs will have to get a different strip.”

Wilce concedes his charges were also a bit flat because they weren’t defend­ing the White Horse Cup, won three weeks earlier, and five first-choice players were spelled.

But he expects his team will be back at full strength and firing for their cup defence against Maniototo this Saturday.

“Wakatipu [who they beat two weeks ago] was probably the biggest occasion but this will be our toughest game,” Wilce predicts, citing in particular Maniototo’s traditionally strong pack.

The last first-round game, it doubles as a top-of-the-table clash with another trophy also riding on it.

The Wakatipu Premiers, who snatched a last-minute 14-14 draw against Mata­kanui in Queenstown last weekend, are away to Alexandra on Saturday. 

Saturday’s draw
Premiers: Alexandra v Wakatipu, Alexandra, 2.45pm; Arrowtown v Maniototo, Jack Reid Park, 2.45pm
Seniors: Roxburgh/Alexandra Combined v Wakatipu Wanderers, Roxburgh, 2.45pm


Battle of the Basin – Fans’ Eye View

Why it’s gotta be Arrowtown…

Robbie McLean says: How will Arrowtown go against Maniototo? How have they done all season?

I’m not at all worried about Saturday’s game, the way the lads have been going. They’ve been going pretty well all season – they didn’t go too well last Saturday, but then again they didn’t really have their A team.

Teamwork is the key to their success and they’ve got a new coach this year who’s going very well.

I think they’ll be hard to beat.

My tip: Arrowtown by 10


Why it’s gotta be Wakatipu…

Paul Anderson says: I think they look like a reasonably well-balanced side, with some good hard-running loose forwards and some depth in the midfield backs.

The secret weapon of course is [co-coach] Clark Frew, who took the field in the White Horse Cup challenge against Arrowtown a fortnight ago and was looking in peak physical condition.

I think if he had the opportunity to take the field again for any length of time he could make a real difference.

My tip: Wakatipu by 8 points