White Horse Cup still with Arrowtown
‘‘We were second.’’
Arrowtown ensured the White Horse Cup stayed locked in its trophy cabinet for another three weeks with a win over Cromwell at the weekend.
The holders came from behind to beat last year’s champion 23-20 in the final minutes at the Queenstown Events Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Arrowtown coach Simon Spark said his players were happy to get away with the win after playing well in ‘‘patches’’.
‘‘We’re still trying to find a bit more consistency across the paddock,’’ Spark said.
‘‘Cromwell played quite a simple, effective game. They varied their attack quite well.’’
Contrasting styles of game made it tough for his side to get into any rhythm, he said.
Spark singled out halfback Josh Brazier who ‘‘stepped up’’ when asked to and loosie Aidan Winter as standout players in the win.
‘‘Winter was pretty huge for us. He hit the ball up all day. It’s not often he’s stopped behind the advantage line.’’
Cromwell coach Paul Tait was bitterly disappointed.
‘‘We were second. We lost it really.’’
Young first five-eighth Ethan Molloy controlled the game well and hooker Cory Winstanley had a big game, Tait said.
‘‘Parts of the game we were good,’’ he said.
Arrowtown took the White Horse Cup off holders Maniototo in the first game of the season in Ranfurly before defending it a week later against Upper Clutha.
After the 30-29 win, Spark said the hardest part was not winning the cup, but defending it.
Arrowtown hasn’t held Central Otago rugby’s most sought after prize since 2012 when it lost it to Maniototo after a three-year stint as holder.
The cup is up for grabs at each of the holder’s home matches throughout the regular season. The team with the cup at the end of the season has its named engraved.
Arrowtown’s next cup defence is against Wakatipu in Frankton in three weeks time following Saturday’s match against Alexandra in Alexandra and a break for duck-shooting weekend.
In other results, Wakatipu beat Clyde 58-31, Upper Clutha beat Matakanui Combined 42-5 and Maniototo beat Alexandra 48-21.
This weekend Cromwell is at home to Maniototo, Wakatipu plays Upper Clutha in Queenstown and Matakanui Combined hosts Clyde Earnscleugh in Omakau.
Read more at Stuff.co.nz.
Arrowtown’s Aidan Winter carries the ball in his side’s 23-20 White Horse Cup win.
Cromwell coach Paul Tait