White Horse Cup is Cromwell’s cup
It’s been 10 long years, but Cromwell finally has its name etched into the White Horse Cup after a 20-5 win over Upper Clutha in Central Otago premier rugby.
It’s just the third time Cromwell has had its name on the cup. The first was in 1933 and then again in 2007.
Sometimes referred to as the Ranfurly Shield of Central Otago rugby, and played for since 1926, a team holding the White Horse Cup puts in on the line in all home games in round-robin matches. The holder at the end of the round-robin has their name engraved on it.
Saturday’s win also meant the defending champions secured the fourth semi-final spot, which would have gone to Upper Clutha as well as the cup, had they won.
Cromwell coach Paul Tait said the win was ‘‘bloody good’’ but paid tribute to Upper Clutha who ‘‘threw everything at it’’.
The Wanaka-based side ‘‘spanked us’’ when they met earlier in the season and his team were wary of that, he said. ‘‘I was not sort of comfortable until that [final] whistle went really.’’
Prop Seru Asivorosi was the man-of-the-match for the second straight week, and flanker Quinten Dynes had a strong game, Tait said.
Mid-season it looked like Cromwell might miss out on a semi-final spot, so Tait was pleased with how the side dug in.
Upper Clutha coach Paul Glynn said it was a ‘‘disappointing result’’ and he ‘‘felt for the boys’’.
‘‘We had our opportunities to score tries. Big games come down to one or two moments and there was certainly a couple of moments in that game.’’
The season had been good for the club, despite missing out on the top four, Glynn said. ‘‘We still made some good in-roads as a team and as a club this year.’’
Other results over the weekend saw Arrowtown beat Wakatipu 25-18 in the ‘‘Battle of the Basin’’, while Alexandra surprised ClydeEarnscleugh with a 13-12 win. Maniototo beat Matakanui Combined 40-7, with the match being moved from Omakau to Alexandra due to a severe frost.
Final round-robin games this Saturday feature Maniototo playing Wakatipu in Queenstown, while Matakanui Combined also ventures to the Wakatipu to play Arrowtown. Upper Clutha plays Alexandra in Wanaka and Cromwell is away to ClydeEarnscleugh.
Cromwell and Upper Clutha pack a scrum during a White Horse Cup encounter in Cromwell on Saturday.