Thursday 23 November 2017

Touchlines on tour

Marmite and parsnips big issues down under

Hugh Farrelly

AUCKLAND and Christchurch are big cities but the Ireland players are firmly back in the sticks in Queenstown. We are in the deep south now bro, and life has a different pace to it, as demonstrated by a perusal of the local newspapers yesterday.



It is refreshing to get away from the depressing tone of much of the major stories doing the rounds -- although there was bad news for New Zealand's Marmite loving community on the front page of 'The Southland Times'.

The factory that produces Marmite in New Zealand was damaged last April and it has been announced that the 'like it or loathe it' spread will not be back on shop shelves until October.

We are also in the middle of 'Parsnip Week' in Southland and the 'Times' reported how there is a great deal of concern about the aging profile of parsnip eaters in the area.

"75 pc of parsnip buyers are 55 or older, younger diners are eating fewer roasts," said Southern Cross produce manager Matthew Malcolm. "We have to do something smartly or our customer base will pass away."

Police reveal naked truth on pitch invader

THE woman who braved sub-zero temperatures to run around the AMI Stadium in her all-together during the second Test in Christchurch last weekend has got off with a warning.

The arresting officer said it was hard to tell where she was from "because she wasn't wearing any colours" but it has emerged it was a 21-year-old woman from Christchurch who made the short dash for glory. The young lady was not, perhaps, the easiest on the eye (a bit too wobbly with an ungainly running style) but she did re-energise the practice of female streaking in rugby, made famous by Erica Roe in 1982 at Twickenham.

The woman has been banned from Addington Stadium for two years but will not have to go before a judge. Maybe that is for the best ... let's just say Gok Wan would have a few things to say if he saw her.

Number of the day

26 Last week, New Zealand were quoted at 1/40 to win the second Test against Ireland in Christchurch, staggering odds and a rating the Irish took as an insult judging by the way they then played. That performance has seen a rather sudden revision with the All Blacks now rated at 1/14 -- a difference of 26 tells its own story.

Quote-unquote

"It's going to be interesting to see how the Irish react. Do they have another performance like this in them? You could see the pain on their faces after the final whistle; I suspect that was their chance." -- Former All Blacks captain Taine Randell expects a routine win this weekend.

"That is interesting and something that could possibly be looked at to see if it could work." -- Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss is intrigued by the idea of scrum TMOs.

Irish Independent

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