Having won their first game this season by digging deep against Wakatipu Premiers, the Arrowtown Bulls need another big game to beat undefeated Upper Clutha at home this Saturday.
Meantime, defending champs Wakatipu desperately need a ‘W’ when they tackle Maniototo in Ranfurly this Saturday after two season-opening home losses.
Bulls coach Simon Harper believes their ‘‘great defensive effort’’ set up their win in Queenstown last Saturday — their first victory against their derby rivals in five years.
He’s also hailing their scrum, especially when they pushed back Wakatipu’s scrum while prop Joji Ravula was sin-binned.
‘‘The boys took a lot of motivation and felt good about that.’’
After the win, Harper says ‘‘the boys were saying, ‘we’ll bottle that and use that as motivation for the rest of the season’’’.
Certainly, they’ll need to be a lot better this Saturday than they were in their first home game three weeks ago, when they lost 41-26 to
Their playing ranks, however, were seriously depleted on that occasion — since then, a number of injured players have returned, and
some new blood’s also arriving.
Saturday’s game kicks off 2.30pm at Jack Reid Park.
Meanwhile, Wakatipu halfback James Valentine says they can still take some positives out of their latest loss.
‘‘The good thing is we created a lot of opportunities, it’s probably just getting that one percent right.
‘‘It’s still early in the season, we’ve got a pretty new group of players, I think it just takes a bit of time to gel.
‘‘We just need to get some confidence, but that will come as the season goes on.’’
Things won’t get much easier this Saturday, though — ‘‘we’re straight into Maniototo in Ranfurly, which is always a challenge’’.
Valentine thinks Maniototo, despite losing all their three games so far, will also be fired up after having narrowly lost to Alexandra last