Maniototo outplays Wakatipu in final

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The Wakatipu Premiers rugby side was blown away 43-10 by Maniototo in the final of the Central Otago competition yesterday (Saturday).

Maniototo by and large starved Wakatipu of the ball and, guided by veteran first-five and goal-kicker Charlie Hore, outplayed the home team in both the forwards and the backs before a large crowd at the Queenstown Events Centre.

Wakatipu scored the opening and closing tries, to Adam Baird and Pita Wilson, respectively, but Maniototo piled on five tries, including four in the second half, between times.

Maniototo led only 14-5 at halftime but then scored 31 unanswered points in the second half before replacement Wilson’s try gave Wakatipu’s score some respectability.

The home side, through the likes of Danny King and Wilson, made the odd burst, but otherwise the visiting side was completely dominant.

Until yesterday, Wakatipu had been unbeaten at home all season, though some of its wins were by the narrowest margins.

It had topped the competition table and only suffered two losses – 27-7 to Maniototo in Ranfurly on July 6 and a one-point away loss to Arrowtown two weeks ago.

Wakatipu, who won last year’s final by beating Arrowtown, can console itself that it held on to the White Horse Cup this season and made the final for the second year running.

The premiers final was one of five Central Otago rugby finals held at the Events Centre yesterday.

Arrowtown narrowly lost its third-fourth play-off game against Cromwell, 20-17.

The Wakatipu Wanderers won its second division third-fourth play-off game, beating Matakanui Combined 23-12.