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Going by last weekend’s performance, the top-of-the-table Wakatipu Premiers rugby side has to lift its game nearing the business end of the season.

They struggled at home last Saturday to put away defending champions Cromwell 20-13, after beating them 36-10 in the first round.

Burly Wakatipu prop Brett Anderson, who scored their last try, says it was a tough battle, particularly up front.

“They held on to the ball a lot in the last 20 minutes, messed up whatever ball we could get and we just couldn’t get on the front foot and execute our plans.

“Our accuracy wasn’t that great, to be fair.”

Wakatipu are away this Saturday to injury-hit Clyde Earnscleugh, who were surprisingly thrashed 80-0 by Arrowtown at the Queenstown Events Centre last Saturday.

Anderson: “Them getting a hiding from Arrowtown’s probably the worst thing for us because they’re going to bounce back with a point to prove and really try to put the heat on us and stop people talking in the wrong manner about them.”

Wakatipu have still suffered just the one loss this season – surrendering the White Horse Cup to Maniototo.

“We’ve now got pretty much four really challenging games, getting harder and harder, leading up to the play-off rounds,” Anderson says.

Beyond this Saturday’s game against Clyde Earnscleugh they’ve got, in turn, Upper Clutha in Wanaka, Arrowtown at home and Maniototo away in Ranfurly.

This last game is likely to double as a White Horse Cup challenge.

Meanwhile, second-placed Arrowtown play Cromwell away this Saturday.

And the Wakatipu Wanderers host Gore’s Albion Excelsior this Saturday at 3pm at the Queenstown Recreation Ground.

scoop@scene.co.nz