After taking the prestigious White Horse Cup off previously unbeaten Upper Clutha last Saturday, Wakatipu Premiers coach Jordan Manihera reveals this wasn’t even the team’s top priority.

Instead, he says it was getting a win in Wānaka to celebrate loose forward Raf Tuhura’s 150th game for the side — he came on as a powerful sub as Wakatipu pulled away to win 35-20.

‘‘Our big focus was to give Raf the result he deserved after the commitment he’s given over the years.’’

Wakatipu’s only loss this season was to Upper Clutha in Queenstown in the first round, but the team had been building momentum after recovering from a poor first half against Alexandra on May 11.

‘‘I think we were the better team on the day [last Saturday],’’ Manihera says.

Here we go: Raf Tuhura prepares to swerve past an Upper Clutha defender

‘‘At the same time, for our own standards we still weren’t where we needed to be, but to get a result like that against the leaders of the competition, we’re pretty happy with that.’’

Wakatipu now face just two regular-season home defences of the White Horse Cup to get their name engraved on the 98-year-old trophy — that didn’t happen last time they won the cup, in 2019, as they lost it five weeks later.

Those two games will be a juicy Battle of the Basin clash with Arrowtown on June 8 and then, if they win that, a game against bottom-of-the-table Matakanui Combined on June 22.

‘‘Even though we’ve got no rugby on the weekend [the comp takes a break for King’s Birthday Weekend], we’re still training and using it as a way to get better and improve, rather than getting away from footy,’’ Manihera says.

Meanwhile, Arrowtown beat Matakanui 40-34 at home last Saturday after a last-gasp try to halfback Rhodri Gerrard.

Junior teams in winners’ circle

Two young Wakatipu sides won their finals at the recent 63rd annual seven-a-side junior rugby tournament at Taieri, near Dunedin.

Wakatipu Basin’s under-13s side beat Green Island Gold 14-10 and the U11 Wakatipu team beat Zingari Richmond 25-15.

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