Mate against mate


Kawarau Falls tradies down tools to go to war in local derby

Tradesmen Aidan Winter and Ben Blakely are well used to eyeballing each other from opposite sides of the Kawarau Falls building site.

But on Saturday they’ll down tools and become face-to-face rivals on the rugby field during the big Wakatipu v Arrowtown derby at the Rec Ground. Kickoff is 2.45pm.

Top-of-the-table Arrowtown will be out to rub it in after beating second-placed Wakatipu at home, 28-16, in their White Horse Cup clash on May 4.

And after knocking over Cromwell, 26-13, last Saturday, they reckon they’re right back on song following their first defeat of the season – 20-10 – against Upper Clutha the week before.

“We got the wake-up call we needed when we lost to Upper Clutha in Wanaka a couple of weeks back,” says Arrowtown captain Winter, who works as an apprentice builder at the Kawarau Falls development.

“It meant we quickly got back on track by beating Cromwell last Saturday, so we’re in good shape going into this one.”

Plumber and hotly rated forward Ben Blakely says an improved Wakatipu side won’t need much motivating for what’s set to be one of the games of the season.

“We’ll be out for a bit of revenge after the White Horse Cup match,” the former Australian Schoolboys rep says.

“It’ll be good to get a win.

“It’ll be tough. But it’s one of those games everyone wants to play in.

“We hope to get some good support out there for us too because Arrowtown bring a lot of people with them.”


Ben Blakely
Age: 22
Team: Wakatipu Premiers
Position: No 8 forward
Occupation: Plumber

Celebrating or drowning your sorrows come Saturday night? Hopefully celebrating. It’s one of those games that can go either way.

Score prediction? The score’ll be tight. But it’ll be 13-12 to us and not the other way around – despite what Aidan says.

What do you think of Arrowtowners? They’re great guys. Yes, just great guys. But I get along with them better off the field than on it.

Pre-match ritual? I don’t do anything special other than try and get a good sleep the night before, which isn’t quite as easy when there’s a big derby match on the next day.

Favourite post-match drinking hole? We’ll throw a few down at the clubrooms after the game then it’ll be on to Speight’s Ale House and Old Man Rock in Queenstown.

Is Aidan lucky with the ladies? S**t, yeah. You should see him when he’s up singing in the bars.

How’s his dress sense? He reminds me of Peter Andre, with the tight shirts and stuff.

Will you still be speaking to him on Monday morning? Yeah, for sure. On the field it’s bloody tough, but off it it’s all fine.


Aidan Winter
Age: 26
Team: Arrowtown Bulls
Position: Flanker and captain
Occupation: Apprentice builder

Celebrating or drowning your sorrows come Saturday night? We’ll be celebrating, definitely. We are well up for this one.

Score prediction? 13-12 to Arrowtown. It’ll be close, but we’ll get there.

What do you think of Queentowners? I get on all right with them off the paddock. But on it, it can be a
different story.

Pre-match ritual? Yip, I stay clear of the pub on a Friday night. That’s about it.

Favourite post-match drinking hole? After a few beers with the Wakatipu guys at their place, it’ll probably be back to The Willows in Arrowtown.

Is Ben lucky with the ladies? He probably is. I’ve seen him at the weekend and he’s definitely one who’s worth watching.

How’s his dress sense? You wouldn’t think it from his working gear, but he looks well sharp when he’s out and about.

Will you still be speaking to him on Monday morning? I’d like to think so. But that depends on how much he beats me up on the field on the Saturday.