Man­iototo, Cromwell fired up for fi­nal

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

It all comes down to this.

Satur­day’s Cen­tral Otago rugby fi­nal will be played be­tween Man­iototo and Cromwell at Alexan­dra.

Peren­nial pow­er­house Man­iototo knows all about win­ning and be­ing in fi­nals. It’s been there on plenty of oc­ca­sions be­fore, most re­cently last year in a los­ing ef­fort.

At the start of ev­ery sea­son, you’d put your house on the ‘Mag­gots’ be­ing there or there­abouts come fi­nals time.

As it hap­pens, the top qual­i­fier will play Cromwell after outgrit­ting Clyde-Earn­scle­ugh 5-0 in its semi­fi­nal.

Man­iototo coach An­drew Hore said it was good to get the win over Clyde in a ‘‘bloody tight’’ game.

He ex­pected it to be no dif­fer­ent in the fi­nal.

‘‘They [Cromwell] have been play­ing pretty well haven’t they?

‘‘To get up and beat Ar­row­town at Ar­row­town is pretty im­pres­sive [but] if we get our minds right, we should be okay.’’

Hore said there was a ques­tion mark over sec­ond five-eighth Mit- chell Lake for the fi­nal after he suf­fered a head knock against Clyde. ‘‘He’s 50/50 at the mo­ment.’’ At the other end of the spec­trum, Cromwell, tra­di­tion­ally a team of ups and downs, will play its first fi­nal in 14 years.

In 2002 it lost to Man­iototo 23-18 in Ran­furly.

Life-mem­ber Pe­ter Gal­lagher strug­gled to re­call a time when Cromwell last won the com­pe­ti­tion. He could only think it was when he was at half­back in 1981.

Be­fore that it was in 1970, he said.

Present co-coach Matthew Lude­mann said he was ‘‘pretty proud of the boys’’ fol­low­ing Satur­day’s shock 14-11 win over Ar­row­town at Jack Reid Park.

The win came on the back of a free-reign game plan on at­tack while work­ing hard on de­fence at train­ings.

‘‘It was such

Lude­mann said.

On Satur­day’s fi­nal, he said the side be­lieved they could win.

‘We’ve got the team to do it. On the day, we just have to string 80 min­utes to­gether.’’

Both Hore and Lude­mann said play­ing at Alexan­dra would im­prove Cromwell’s chances of an his­toric win.

The match kicks off at 2.30pm at Molyneux Park.

a

buzz,’’

Cromwell’s Hay­den Todd crashes into the Ar­row­town de­fence in a Cen­tral Otago rugby semi­fi­nal on Satur­day. Cromwell won 14-11.

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