White Horse Cup moves to Cromwell
A try from loosie Daniel Hurring after 80 minutes had ticked over gave Cromwell a 15-14 premier rugby win over Maniototo, and the White Horse Cup.
With time up and the visitors down 14-10 in Ranfurly on Saturday, Hurring was the hero in a movement that started inside Cromwell’s 22-metre line, aided by a flurry of penalties against the home side.
It ended when Hurring crashed over to score the try and seal the one-point win.
Cromwell coach Paul Tait was ‘‘over-the-moon’’ at his side’s effort.
‘‘It’s huge. It’s bloody massive,’’ Tait said.
‘‘It was a s... fight [and] we just hung on really.’’
Cromwell led 10-7 at the break and Tait said the atrocious conditions allowed his side to stay in the match and ultimately win the game.
The 2016 Central Otago champion hadn’t won the muchcoveted cup since 2010 when it beat Upper Clutha, but then lost it a week later to Arrowtown.
A team holding the White Horse Cup puts it on the line in home games for all round-robin matches. The holder at the end of the round-robin has their name engraved on it.
Cromwell has only twice had its name etched into the cup, in 1933 and 2007.
It will need to beat Upper Clutha at home on Saturday to lock it away for a third time and add to the cup’s prestige.
It’s a challenge made doubly difficult by the fact both teams are fighting for the final playoff birth in the penultimate regular season match.
‘‘The job’s only half done,’’ Tait said. ‘‘[But] from the coaches box, it’s pretty pleasing.’’
Maniototo captain Tim O’Neill said it was pretty tough losing the White Horse Cup twice in one season but he was pleased with the effort of his team.
Maniototo were the holders at the end of last season but lost it to Arrowtown 30-29 in the first round, only to regain it in a 20-18 win over Wakatipu.
Other results from the weekend saw Arrowtown beat Alexandra 38-5 and Wakatipu beat Upper Clutha 18-5. Matakanui Combined got its second win of the season 18-12 over ClydeEarnscleugh.
Wakatipu, Arrowtown and Maniototo have virtually cemented semi-final spots with two games to play.
Cromwell rugby players celebrate after a one-point White Horse Cup victory over Maniototo in Ranfurly on Saturday.