Cromwell teams going head-to-head for first time

And now for something completely different on the Central Otago rugby scene - one Cromwell team, the Goats, takes on another from the town, the Cavaliers, in tomorrow's feature contest.

With the club boasting record numbers this season, Cromwell decided that rather than propping up the battling Clyde-Earnscleugh club down the road, it would enter two teams in the premier competition.

Both teams have been extremely competitive during the opening four rounds, and now they tangle with each other.

Goats manager Russell Decke said both teams were looking forward to this unique contest.

"Everyone is looking forward to it. They're clubmates off the field, but both teams will be out to claim maximum points on the paddock."

The Goats will start strong favourites. After early-season losses to Upper Clutha and Wakatipu, they have scored 17 tries in two outings, against Maniototo and Alexandra.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, have conceded five tries in each of the last two outings, against Arrowtown and Upper Clutha, although they had Upper Clutha at full stretch and were still ahead with 10 minutes to play.

The Cavaliers will be missing two front-rowers this week, which is a key area of the game.

To help identify which team is which, the Cavaliers have a green top to their jerseys.

Maniototo heads to Jack Reid Park to tackle Arrowtown in what it was hoping would be a White Horse Cup challenge, but Wakatipu ruined that with its smash-and-grab raid last Saturday.

Instead, Maniototo, whose only points have come from a walkover against Matakanui-Combined, will be hoping not only to challenge Arrowtown but get some points on the board. In a bet organised by the players, only those who score tries are allowed to remove facial beards or cut off mullets.

Alexandra will host Upper Clutha at Molyneux Park and will be looking to get the basics right this time after a horror game against the Cromwell Goats when it conceded eight tries.

Wakatipu gets the weekend off, having drawn Matakanui-Combined, which has withdrawn from the competition.

 - Bob Howitt

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