Smile lads you’re all on candid rugby-cam

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The Arrowtown Premiers rugby team hopes technology will help them defend the White Horse Cup against arch-rivals Wakatipu on Saturday. 

Coach Simon Spark says a videotape of their season-opening 35-19 win over Cromwell last Saturday highlighted some tactical issues. 

“We picked on a few things that without videoing you wouldn’t pick on.” 

While thrilled with his players – especially young backs Kane Dodds, Dan Eyles and Josh Brazier – Spark suggests “there are a couple of major things we’ve got to sort out otherwise we’ll struggle”. 

Not that he’ll reveal what those are. 

Wakatipu Premiers coach Kelvin Middleton – whose team lost to Upper Clutha 18-10 – says he has used a video camera in the past. 

“But somehow it has got lost. To be honest, I can see plenty that we’ve got to work on without needing a video,” 
Middleton says. 

Spark has no doubt Wakatipu will be up for Saturday’s challenge. 

“It’s a local derby, it’s where your name’s made or not in the whole district. 

“If you give your guts, you’re respected for that.” 

Spark thinks there’ll be very little between the teams – in round-robin play last year, the sides drew one game and Arrowtown won the other by only three points. 

Middleton says Wakatipu against Arrowtown is “one of the most exciting games of the year for both teams”. 

“It is a lot of mate versus mate, a lot of guys work together. 

“There’s a lot of friendly banter but, come game time, everyone’s pretty keen to get that win.” 

Though disappointed at their first-up loss, Middleton says his team’s defence was outstanding. 

“Once we get our hands on the ball, I think we will be able to do something.” 

He was also heartened by Wakatipu’s senior reserve side, the Wanderers, who beat Upper Clutha 24-5 in a curtainraiser to the Premiers’ game. 

“There are a number of players who will certainly make the grade to play Premiers.” 

The Wanderers have a bye this weekend.