Red and black bounce back

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The Arrowtown Premiers rugby side shook off its shock season-opening loss to Roxburgh to win last Saturday’s ‘battle of the basin’.

It beat the Wakatipu Premiers 26-10 at its home ground on Jack Reid Park.

“This was the platform we should have set for our season a week earlier,” Arrowtown coach Drew Carmody says.

The return of loose forward Aidan Winter, who’s back from Germany but missed the first game, was influential, Carmody says.

“He obviously gets pretty fired up for [derby games] so he made sure the guys weren’t mucking around at training.”

Left wing Cam McKerchar, 19, posted two converted tries in the first 10 minutes.

Carmody says they threw the former Wakatipu High halfback onto the wing to fill a gap for a few weeks.

“He’s been going so well we can’t get him out of there.”

Carmody says vice-captain Kane Dodds, whom he’s shifted from fullback to first-five, could be a key for Arrowtown “if he takes charge and runs the show like he’s capable of”.

“That’s what we’ve been missing and what Maniototo has had with Charlie Hore and the other teams don’t.”

Wakatipu Premiers captain Henry Youngman isn’t too disheartened by Saturday’s loss, especially as his team came back from 14-0 down to trail just 14-10 at halftime.

“We’ve got a few young players, there’s still a little bit of maturing [to happen] but I thought we played bloody well.

“I think it bodes well for the rest of the season if we can just string a few more things together.”

On the flip-side, the team lost two more players to injury with fullback Rhys Collins and halfback Peter Sleath having to be assisted from the field.

The Wakatipu Wanderers were thrashed 71-0 in Queenstown by Upper Clutha A.

The competition resumes on April 11 following a break this weekend.

scoop@scene.co.nz