Pumas vs All Blacks a taste of home
It’s not just born and bred Nelsonians getting excited about next year’s All Blacks test at Trafalgar Park.
Matias Cacciavillani creates the food of his homeland at his Argentinian food cart Viva La Vaca Parrilla with his Kiwi partner Chelsea, filling hungry stomachs at the Pocket Park on Bridge St, Isel Park market or Motueka’s Sunday Market.
Illness prevented him from attending the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarter-final between the All Blacks and Argentina.
With a test match between the two teams announced in his hometown, Cacciavillani was eager not to miss this opportunity to see Los Pumas in action.
‘‘It might be a bit hard to get [tickets], but hopefully we get the food cart in,’’ he said.
While choripan, steak and chimichurri were staple menu items, Cacciavillani hoped that his beloved Pumas wouldn’t be smoked on the field on September 8 next year.
He expected to be in hot demand in the days leading up to the test as part of the festivities and said a pre-match food event would be the perfect curtainraiser to the big game.
As well as the anticipated influx of Pumas supporters making the trip over, Cacciavillani hoped that the local community of expatriates could replicate some of the match day atmosphere that South American sports fans were famous for.
‘‘In the stadiums back home, there is a lot of dancing and jumping around – it was like that when the [national hockey team] played here against the Black Sticks - just a few of us went down and went crazy.’’
‘‘It’s just the whole fun of it.’’ While his brothers had played some rugby growing up in Argentina, Cacciavillani said he had gravitated more to the national sport of football, which he still played in Nelson.
He had developed a love of rugby while he had been living in New Zealand, although his loyalties firmly remained with the home of Maradona, gauchos and Hugo Porta.
However, Cacciavillani’s NZborn son, 15-month old Sebastian may require a more diplomatically-safe option come 2018.
‘‘Maybe we’ll get him a jersey that’s half and half.’’
Matias Cacciavillani and son Sebastian, 15 months will be supporting the Argentinian Rugby team for the 2018 match against the All Blacks at Trafalgar Park.