Wakatipu's Henry Youngman on the charge during his team's
win over Clyde-Earnscleugh at the Queenstown Recreation
Ground on Saturday. Wakatipu won 24-0. Photo by Blair
The unbeaten Arrowtown rugby team expects a big challenge
from a desperate Clyde-Earnscleugh this weekend.
Arrowtown coach Drew Carmody said fifth-placed Clyde would be
a tough prospect at home this Saturday, in the final game of
the first round of the Central Otago Premier competition.
Clyde had to win to ensure it stayed in the competition's top
six, Carmody said.
''It's a must-win for Clyde. It's definitely going to be a
His players also had plenty of motivation.
They wanted to keep their unbeaten run going throughout the
first half of the season, and wanted to hold on to the
Speight's Challenge Cup for another week before, before the
competition was split into two sections.
''It's definitely important for us to finish off well.''
Arrowtown beat Upper Clutha B 57-3 in Frankton on Friday to
put it eight points ahead and guaranteed to finish the first
half of the season top of the standings.
However, Carmody's initial 28-man squad has been hit by
several season-ending injuries, and is now operating with a
bare minimum of 22 players.
Arrowtown has a particular shortage of backs.
Although Upper Clutha B had a lot of young players, they had
''fought pretty well'', Carmody said.
Despite the one-sided scoreline, the game had left his
players with plenty to work on.
''We played pretty well. We played to our structure and our
game plan but we had far too many handling errors.''
Clyde, along with Cromwell A and Roxburgh, are competing for
the last two spots in the competition's top six.
Wakatipu captain Steve Bruce said his side was feeling
confident, coming off a bonus-point 24-0 win over Clyde in
Queenstown at the weekend.
''We've been struggling to get into a groove, but I felt we
did that last Saturday.
''Our backline is coming into its own.''
Wakatipu will play Alexandra at home this Saturday, and
although Alexandra had no chance of making the top six, he
expected it to put in a good performance.
''Hopefully they don't see it as a dead rubber''.
His side was feeling confident after running in four tries at
the weekend, and would be bolstered by the return of several
players from injury or unavailability.