World Cup: Diego Maraotter strikes back

SIOBHAN DOWNES
Last updated 09:49 14/06/2014
ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff.co.nz

Diego Maraotter's prediction for Italy versus England's World Cup match.

Diego Maraotter
NIMBLE: Diego Maraotter is primed for the tournament.

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It was payback time, for the Netherlands - and Wellington Zoo's Diego Maraotter.

By the early second half the team was well and truly bringing the Dutch revenge, memories of the 2010 World Cup final against the victorious Spaniards still raw.

As the full-time whistle blew at 1-5 to the Netherlands, the Dutch fans whipped themselves into a frenzy.

And Maraotter basked in their Oranje glow, blowing a triumphant raspberry to his pundit competition, football writers Tony Smith and Sam Worthington.

"Yesterday they mocked me. That Smith even came to the zoo just to point and laugh in my face. But today, I showed them who was boss."

Smith had thought the Spanish defence would see the team through, while Worthington was calling a draw.

"When Robben scored the Netherlands their second goal it was clear we had a game on our claws," Maraotter said.

"From then on, the Spaniards were looking like a dog's breakfast."

Speaking of breakfast, Maraotter said he planned on having extra fish this morning in celebration of his success.

His beady eyes now on tomorrow's England-Italy matchup, Maraotter was initially flippant in making his choice.

But after some pre-game snack persuasion he was back darting towards the flags - pawing first at Italy for the win, before also showing a bit of interest in the St George's cross of England.

A sign of a close game, or Maraotter hedging bets?

Smith predicts a sleep-inducing draw with neither team scoring - as long as the English watch out for diving Daniele de Rossi, the Italian actor who cheated for the penalty against the All Whites in 2010.

Worthington continues to sit on the fence and is picking his third consecutive draw, irking Maraotter who lacks the means to communicate to his otter interpreters when he thinks it will be a level playing field, and is forced to rely on the "first touch" of a flag as letting us know who will win.

Scorecard
Tony Smith 1
Maraotter 1
Sam Worthington 0

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