Best yet to come for Upper Clutha: coach

Alexandra player Isimeli Cakautimi carries the ball with determination against Wakatipu players...
Alexandra player Isimeli Cakautimi carries the ball with determination against Wakatipu players at Molyneux Park last Saturday. PHOTO : TOM KITCHIN
Attack is about execution.

Defence is about attitude.

Upper Clutha is getting both right this season.

The Wanaka-based team is sitting comfortably in second in the Central Otago premier tournament.

It has had just one loss. Competition leader Wakatipu scored a late try to record a 8-3 win in Queenstown in round four.

Other than that, the season has run rather smoothly.

But coach Paul Glynn believes the best is yet to come.

"We're going along all right but we've still got a lot of improvement in us," he said.

"We haven't, by any means, played to our full potential."

Paul Glynn
Paul Glynn
It is a rather ominous proclamation and, based on recent form, rather accurate.

Upper Clutha recorded a comprehensive 48-12 win against Arrowtown in Wanaka on the weekend.

Arrowtown is still clinging on to fourth despite its latest setback and put up more resistance than the scoreline perhaps suggests, Glynn said.

No8 Jack Gilchrist got a brace of tries in the game and has been in good form.

He does the basics well, makes good decisions and is quick to sum up the game situation.

He has tremendous support from fellow loosies Sam Calder and Fraser Dowling. But Glynn was reluctant to single players out.

One of the keys to the team's success has been its tenacity on defence.

It boasts the best defensive record in the tournament and, with a more potent attack than in recent seasons, Upper Clutha presents more of a threat.

"We just have a bunch of guys who are so passionate and who get up when they get knocked down and go again and again.

"We're proud of that and that definitely makes a big difference."

"[Defence] is something we've worked hard at for the last two years.

"We've struggled scoring points in the past but now we are starting to score points.

"I put it down to fitness. Fitness and desire. They want to do it for each other."

The big test will come in three weeks, when Upper Clutha hosts Wakatipu.

But Glynn believes tomorrow's match against Maniototo, which beat Clyde Earnscleugh 75-7 on the weekend, will be intense.

"People say they are in a rebuilding phase but they know how to win games of rugby and they've been targeting this game for a month or two now.

"We will be right up against it. It will be one of the hardest games of the year."

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