By PHILIP CHANDLER
Last Thursday, the Arrowtown Prems rugby side came, saw and so nearly wrestled the White Horse Cup off Upper Clutha.
This Saturday, it’s Wakatipu’s turn to visit Wānaka to try and complete the job.
Wakatipu warmed up for the challenge with a convincing 38-10 away win against defending champs Cromwell last Thursday night, highlighted by a hat-trick of tries to Danny Kayes.
‘‘It’s one of the better ones we’ve had in the couple of years,’’ assistant coach Tom Kelly says, though his side only pulled away in the last 20 minutes.
For Saturday’s game, Kelly suggests ‘‘both sides have good players and good game plans, and it will come down to attitude’’.
If Wakatipu need extra motivation, it’ll be their inspirational no.8 Bradley Cross’ 100th game for the club.
Last season, Waka beat Upper Clutha in two of their three games, but lost the one that counted, the semi-final, ‘‘so that is still probably hurting a little bit for us’’, Kelly says.
However, after having to travel to Queenstown to play all those games, Upper Clutha will also be fizzing to tackle Wakatipu at home.
Meanwhile, Arrowtown coach Simon Harper, whose side lost 22-18 to Upper Clutha, says he’s ‘‘very proud’’ of the Bulls’ performance.
‘‘It’s difficult to go over to Upper Clutha at the best of times, and especially for a White Horse Cup challenge.
‘‘Looking back, there were moments where we let ourselves down … we’ve just got to tidy up a few things and we’ll be in a pretty good position, I think.’’
This Saturday, Arrowtown play Maniototo for their first home fixture after three games on the road.
‘‘It’s great for all our supporters and sponsors to come and see us in the flesh — we do exist.’’
Enticingly, if Wakatipu do take the White Horse Cup this weekend, Arrowtown will get the first challenge, on May 28.
‘‘We’ll learn our lessons from the last time if that happens,’’ Harper says.
Saturday’s games kick off 2.30pm.