The All Blacks can head into their semifinal clash against the Wallabies with an extra spring in their step after Sonny Wool picked his home team for the sixth time in a row.
The sheep made his choice at the not-so-glamorous location of Petone's Pak'n'Save car park. As usual, he had to choose between two containers of food, each marked with a flag of the teams playing.
He controversially put his nose in the container under the Australia flag before heading for New Zealand. His owner Beverley Dowling said it showed it was going to be a tough match for New Zealand.
"He didn't pick the Australians, he was just having a sniff at them. The thing is, as we know with Sonny Wool, he marks his pick by scratching his hoof on the ground. There was a lot of hesitation around Australia," said Dowling.
"I reckon it'll be super fast, really tight, but don't give up hope too soon New Zealand. I think we'll get through, but only just."
Sonny Wool put his reputation on the line last week by trying to predict all four of the quarterfinal winners - with disappointed results. He backed England to beat France, New Zealand to defeat Argentina, Ireland to overcome Wales and South Africa to pip the Aussies - causing many to question whether he was pulling the wool over the public's eyes.
However, his agent Dan Boyd insisted whoever wins this weekend, Sonny won't be included in a Sunday roast.
"He's very much a loved sheep and I can't see him going to the butchery any time soon. I don't think he'd taste very good anyway," Boyd said.
"He might get a hair cut, but I don't think he's going to turn into anyone's dinner."
The four-legged farm animal will put his fame to good use when he auctions off his prized All Blacks jersey signed by Sonny Bill Williams. It will go on Trade Me with all proceeds to be donated to the SPCA.
"He's certainly made a bit of a name for himself around the country and this is our way of giving something back to the other animals."
- © Fairfax NZ News