Ex-Highlander’s White Horse Cup rugby boost

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The Wakatipu Premiers rugby side beat Clyde-Earnscleugh 27-10 yesterday (Saturday) in their first defence of the prestigious White Horse Cup. 

Wakatipu, who’d taken the cup off Maniototo two weeks earlier, had expected a strong challenge from Clyde-Earnscleugh. 

Before the match Clyde-Earnscleugh lay second in the Central Otago competition while Wakatipu was third.
Wakatipu opened up a 10-nil lead in the first half with right-winger Tony Farley scoring a penalty, a corner try and a conversion.
 
Clyde-Earnscleugh cut the halftime lead down to 10-5 with an unconverted try in the corner but didn’t help their cause by missing a penalty right out in front following what was ruled to be a dangerous tackle by a Wakatipu player. 

Wakatipu extended their lead halfway through the second half with a converted try to substitute loose forward Henry Youngman. 

Clyde-Earnscleugh came back with an unconverted corner try. 

Youngman, who’d come on for the injured Sol Frew, soon after grabbed Wakatipu’s third try, to stretch the lead to 22-10. 

Then right on full-time, Wakatipu centre Danny King scored a spectacular solo try from his own 22, selling two dummies on the way. 

Wakatipu coach and former Highlander Kelvin Middleton made a surprise appearance, playing strongly for the first 50 minutes at number eight in place of an injured Jake Lawrence. 

The team’s player of the day was open-side flanker Marcus Balchin, who was a constant threat on both attack and defence. 

Wakatipu lock Ben MacDonald also stood out in the lineout, frequently stealing opposition ball. 

Meanwhile, Arrowtown beat Upper Clutha 41-17 at Arrowtown’s Jack Reid Park.