No Country for old men

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Form book says free-running Otago will clean up Canterbury

 

Otago Country have home advantage in Queenstown on Saturday when they take on Canterbury Country for rugby’s Triangular Trophy.

With a loose forward trio of Arrowtowners Aidan Winter, Dan Iosefo and Dan Dodds, Otago Country will be bidding to hold the trophy for a fourth successive season. Going on form, they should bolt in.

Otago Country slaughtered Southland Country 76-25 in Te Anau last Saturday – and the week before that the Southlanders beat the Cantabs, 20-13, for the first time in six years.

That’s an ominous sign for even the most optimistic Canterbury supporter.

Ever the diplomat, Arrowtown pivot and Otago Coun­­try utility back Reece Winter says: “You can’t read too much into it.

“We didn’t talk to the Southland guys about [Canterbury Country] too much. We’ve got a good scrum and lineout, so we’ll take them on up there and get it out wide.

“There won’t be much change for us.”

In the win over Southland, Otago Country first-five Charlie Hore knocked over 10 out of 10 conversions while locals Reece Winter and Iosefo dotted down.

Winter, who’s made the Otago Country team for the past five seasons, spent three-quarters of the match on the sideline – as back-up to Hore, a former Highlanders flyhalf – but enjoyed the view.

“We played bloody well. We have great backs – it was good to watch.”