Basin rugby battle lines will be drawn this weekend – all going well at the Queenstown Rec Ground.
Ten days ago the ground, home to the Wakatipu Prems rugby team, was ripped up after a car managed to gain access and the driver used the turf for doughnut practice.
Since then it’s been out of action to all users, but Waka co-coach Brett Anderson says as far as he’s aware the Battle of the Basin, against hometown rivals Arrowtown, will go ahead on the ground this Saturday.
His side clawed its way back to the top of the table last weekend, beating Upper Clutha in Wanaka 34-19, having led 17-0 at half-time.
Anderson says despite the home team piling on 19 points in the second half, “it still felt like we were under control the whole time”.
“They’re a pretty good side and they were always going to score points against us – they picked up a dropped ball and ran 80 metres for one of their tries while we were hot on attack.”
Meanwhile Arrowtown retained the White Horse Cup at the weekend after the Bulls toppled Alexandra 46-8.
Coach Simon Spark says his side was suffering from a “White Horse Cup hang-over” in the first 40 minutes, which saw the visitors leading 8-7 at the break.
“Our discipline was terrible and we got whistled off the park, basically.”
A talking-to at half-time and a change of tactics saw the home team run away in the second half, racking up 39 unanswered points by the final whistle.
Spark says the depth in the Wakatipu squad means the Bulls are going into this Saturday’s battle as the underdogs.
“If we lose a player or a couple of players we don’t have the depth to cover some of those positions, so guys have to play out of position, but that’s definitely their strength at the moment. They’ve got good depth and they’ve got a pretty balanced squad.
“We’ve just got to show up and play a bit like [against] Cromwell – play to the best of our ability and we could stand a chance.
“It’s definitely a big game.”
Kick-off’s at 3pm.