A busload of homesick and hungry South African rugby players couldn't resist waving down a purveyor of their native snack in Hamilton.
The Bulls, in town to play the Chiefs on Friday, used hand signals to get Safari Biltong owner Wykie Etsebeth to follow them on Thursday when they spotted his branded van.
Biltong is a dried spiced meat snack popular in South Africa and the team was desperate for a feed, having been on the road for a few weeks.
Mr Etsebeth is more than a casual fan – he has a poster of the Bulls on his shop wall – so recognised the players and team manager Wynie Strydom.
"They spotted me in Te Rapa and I followed them for nearly 2 kilometres," he said. "When they saw the biltong they really missed it. If you are without it for three or four weeks you get withdrawal symptoms."
He ended up supplying 20 kilograms of his Hamilton-made biltong made from beef silverside, worth $1000, to the group and met three-quarters of the team who gave him free tickets to Friday's game.
Mr Etsebeth, originally from the town of Potchefstroom, which lies in Bull's territory, is clear about where his rugby loyalties lie. "The Chiefs are my second team. When they are playing anyone else I support them. I am going to send them some biltong samples this week."
- Waikato Times