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Drop zone: Workers will fetch rugby balls from this trench after games this season

By PHILIP CHANLDER

Workmen on a Queenstown wastewater project will double as rugby ball boys this winter.

A trench has been dug across the western end of the Recreation Ground to accommodate a pump station as part of a major council infrastructure upgrade.

But that trench immediately abuts the Wakatipu Rugby Club’s playing field.

When the club starts playing home games this season, which has been delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown, balls kicked towards, and hopefully over, the rugby posts at the western end will fly into that trench.

As a result, the club will be given 10 to 12 extra balls each game to make up for those kicked in there, Wakatipu Prems co-coach Grant Murphy says.

“Someone who obviously has the right authority will go in behind the fence and get them all out for us on the Monday [following the Saturday games].”

Murphy isn’t worried about players running out of balls, so to speak, during games.

“I don’t think that will happen – we’ve got plenty.

“If we’re getting 12 kicks at goal in a match, the other team’s making a few mistakes, aren’t they?”

Players will also have to adjust to a shorter dead-ball line at this end, which is about to be returfed.

Meanwhile, the Wakatipu Prems scheduled pre-season game, to have been played today against Wanaka’s Upper Clutha at the Queenstown Events Centre, was canned because Upper Clutha couldn’t field enough players.

Instead there are plans afoot for Arrowtown to play the Wanaka side next Saturday, ahead of a mouthwatering away derby against Arrowtown on June 27.

The Wakatipu Wanderers play Mossburn in an away pre-season game today.

scoop@scene.co.nz