The Wakatipu Premiers rugby team is on red alert for its White Horse Cup defence against Cromwell in Queenstown on Saturday.
Cromwell has only lost one game this season – its scalps include the formidable Maniototo side – and the club is celebrating its 125th anniversary.
“The White Horse Cup would certainly add some value to their anniversary but it’s certainly not something we’re prepared to give up particularly easily,” Wakatipu coach Damian Petre says, confirming his team is keen to start well after having to stage second-half comebacks to win its last two games.
Wakatipu only managed to eclipse Arrowtown in the 78th minute two weeks ago.
Wakatipu’s captain Regan Pearce says: “It’d be nice to put in an 80-minute performance rather than a two-minute performance.
“From when the whistle blows, we’re wanting to start well, finish well and have a good middle – much like a good Margaret Mahy book.”
The Premiers had an extra week to freshen up after their feeder team, the Wanderers, defaulted to them last Saturday.
Wakatipu Rugby Club president Damien O’Connell says the default arose from injuries in both teams: “There’s no way the Wanderers would have beaten them – potentially, there could have been more injuries because in these sorts of games, people try to prove themselves and sometimes it can be a disaster.”
Arrowtown Premiers host Cromwell B after a good 25-10 win over Upper Clutha in Wanaka last Saturday.