Bonjour bro! All’s fair in love and rugby for sweetheart rivals
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.
Martin Relave and Victoria (Tori) Haysom have a score to settle tonight.