Bon­jour bro! All’s fair in love and rugby for sweet­heart ri­vals

Weekend Herald - - News - Char­lotte Carter

As the All Blacks and France go head to head tonight, one Auck­land cou­ple will be hav­ing a ri­valry of their own in the stands of Eden Park.

French-Kiwi cou­ple Martin Relave and Victoria ‘Tori’ Haysom will be dress­ing up in their re­spec­tive colours and head­ing to the game with a French cou­ple who live in New Zealand, an­other cou­ple who are French and Aus­tralian and an­other French friend.

Haysom will be sorely out­num­bered cheer­ing the All Blacks on, be­ing the only Kiwi in the group.

Relave runs a Face­book page called French Na­tive Les­son, where he posts fun videos about French cul­ture and the ba­sics of the French lan­guage.

The cou­ple put to­gether a spe­cial video in an­tic­i­pa­tion of tonight’s match, start­ing with some friendly ban­ter.

“We’re go­ing to smash you lit­tle frogs,” Haysom says be­fore Relave re­torts in kind about “pe­tits Ki­wis”.

The pair then dress in their team kit and take the bat­tle to their lo­cal field, stop­ping at half­time for ap­pro­pri­ate na­tional snacks — Mar­mite for Haysom while Relave cracks open a bot­tle of Bordeaux.

“The videos are just a bit of fun, but we watch a lot of in­ter­na­tional sport to­gether and I am very

com­pet­i­tive,” Relave said.

He is con­vinced France will take the win, while Haysom has all her faith in the boys in black.

The game will be screened at a num­ber of bars and venues around Auck­land, but The Cloud looks like the place to be for French fans in par­tic­u­lar.

The Cloud and Shed 10 this week­end will be abuzz with French food, wine, fash­ion, lan­guage, petanque, games and a kids’ cor­ner for Le Re­nault French Fes­ti­val.

There will also be a French Fan Zone with two gi­ant screens broad­cast­ing the test match and a con­cert af­ter the game.

It will be the per­fect place to si­dle up to pa­tri­otic French fans and en­gage in some healthy sport­ing ri­valry.

Sev­eral French rugby fans liv­ing in New Zealand are tak­ing the safety in num­bers ap­proach.

Valen­tine Pan­aget, a tourist work­ing at La Voie Fran­cais on Do­min­ion Rd, posted on the French in NZ Face­book page a month ago look­ing for fel­low fans with whom to at­tend the game. She was thrilled when two French tourists an­swered her plea and the trio are head­ing along to the sold-out game tonight.

Yes­ter­day the All Blacks were the clear favourites to win the match, pay­ing $1.03 on TAB, com­pared with France, pay­ing $10.

Photo / Greg Bowker

Martin Relave and Victoria (Tori) Haysom have a score to set­tle tonight.

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