Minced player misses derby

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The Wakatipu Premiers face Arrowtown without a mainstay flanker whose calf is in shreds after a shocking rucking incident. 

Wakatipu blindside Ryan Pewhairangi will miss his team’s challenge for the coveted White Horse Cup – he’s off work and laid up at home with 22 stitches in a mutilated left calf muscle. 

The extent of the injury stunned a doctor who treated him, he says. 

Pewhairangi says with 20 minutes to go in last Saturday’s 3-13 loss to Maniototo he felt an opponent “going to town” on his leg while at the bottom of a ruck. 

“I felt the puncture and a tear through the skin. I played on and ended up at the bottom of another ruck and somebody had another go at it so whoever was doing it 

was out to cause some harm. By that stage it was pretty 
sore – I was screaming.” 

Pewhairangi, 24, says the final whistle went and his team-mates carried him off. He realised the extent of the “savage gash” when he pulled his blood-soaked rugby sock off in the changing rooms. A doctor at a medical clinic in Ranfurly stitched him up. 

“Her eyes popped out of her head,” Pewhairangi says. 

“That’s rugby but somebody got out of hand – stomping like that, there’s no need.” 

Wakatipu co-coach Kelvin Middleton says he’s never seen an injury like it. 

“It makes you wonder how it could have been caused by a legal stud.” 

This week he hopes his team cuts down on basic errors. 

“We’ve dropped enough ball this year.” 

Arrowtown is in top form with two wins from two matches. It beat Upper Clutha in Wanaka last week 33-0.