Ripper rugby fixture on the cards

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The Arrowtown Premiers rugby side get an enticing White Horse Cup challenge in Queenstown if they beat Maniototo this Saturday.

Arrowtown beat Clyde-Earnscleugh 8-6 last Saturday to jump into second place in the Central Otago competition.

If they win in Ranfurly this Saturday they’ll hold onto second place and play top-placed Wakatipu in Queenstown the week after, to start the top-six second round of the competition.

Such a game, during the second weekend of the Queenstown Winter Festival, would be “a ripper of an occasion”, Wakatipu coach Damian Petre says.

“You could sell tickets to that, couldn’t you?”

Arrowtown, however, face a daunting challenge against third-placed Maniototo, who two weeks ago thrashed Clyde-Earnscleugh 40-5.

Arrowtown coach Hayden Finch says: “It’s very hard over in Ranfurly and the wet weather probably won’t help.”

Meanwhile, the unbeaten Wakatipu Premiers survived a third nail-biting White Horse Cup defence in a row last Saturday, holding out Upper Clutha 9-8.

“It was always going to be challenging to hold onto this trophy because every team that comes here just grows another leg,” Petre says.

This Saturday the team defend the White Horse Cup against a Cromwell B side which has lost all nine of its games this season.

Saturday’s draw

Wakatipu Wanderers v Alexandra, Queenstown Recreation Ground, 1.15pm; Wakatipu v Cromwell B, Queenstown Recreation Ground, 2.30pm; Maniototo v Arrowtown, Ranfurly, 2.30pm