The Arrowtown and Wakatipu Premiers rugby sides haven’t had strong seasons to date — having only won five games out of 15 between them — but you can bet they’ll be peaking this afternoon for the second ‘Battle of the Basin’ at Arrowtown’s Jack Reid Park.
Arrowtown won the first ‘battle’ in Queenstown, 22-15, one of their only two wins this season.
And last Saturday, they again disappointed, losing 50-29 to bottom-placed Matakanui Combined, in Omakau, after being down 33-0 at one point before rallying with five tries.
‘‘The boys just didn’t get off the bus,’’ laments coach Simon Harper.
He’s frustrated ‘‘because we’re actually getting stronger in terms of the squad, but the results are still very inconsistent’’.
However, they’re still fifth on the table and Harper’s in no doubt they’ll be up for today’s derby.
‘‘And I’m pretty sure it will be Goonie’s [40-year-old Aidan Winter’s] last game against Wakatipu at home, so, good occasion to get up for.’’
Wakatipu coach Brett Anderson, whose team won the comp last year, but are only clinging on to fourth this season, says Arrrowtown ‘‘might have only won two games, but we’ve only won three, so we’ve had a few issues of our own, and we’re still struggling to get a full-strength side on the park’’.
‘‘But it didn’t do us any favours [with] Arrowtown getting a bit of a licking like that last weekend.’’
Aside from the bragging rights, Anderson says he’s more focused on getting a ‘w’ just to stay in the hunt.
‘‘It’s a big battle for the four now, it’s looking like if we were to miss the top four, it would be Arrowtown that would put us out.’’
Kick-off this afternoon’s at 2.30pm.