White Horse Cup moves to Cromwell

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - RHYS CHAMBERLAIN

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.

KA­T­RINA MAXWELL

Cromwell rugby play­ers cel­e­brate af­ter a one-point White Horse Cup vic­tory over Man­iototo in Ran­furly on Satur­day.

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