Twin Chiefs fans endure stinks to avoid rugby jinx
Their grinning faces have become emblematic of the Chiefs' success this year, but identical twins Sam and Marty Mikaere share more than looks - neither has washed their Chiefs' jersey all season.
The brothers, who live next door to each other in Tamahere, have been a regular fixture at games this season.
"I haven't washed my jersey all season, just so I don't jinx things," Sam said.
"It's a bit of a superstition of mine."
His brother is the same.
"I don't know if I should be admitting this, but I haven't washed mine since the winning streak started," said Marty.
And spare a thought not only for the punters sitting near them at the game, but for their better halves.
"I think come Sunday I will let my wife handle the washing of it," said Sam.
The twins grew up on Coromandel and rugby was always part of their lives, and both played for the Coromandel Rugby Club.
The twins are well know among the most loyal of Chiefs supporters, although as the season has gone on they have become a little harder to spot in the crowd.
"At the start of the season it was us sitting with about 600 other people," said Marty.
"As the weeks went on the crowds got bigger and bigger and I reckon we were harder to spot."
The twins admit they sometimes disagree about rugby, but both are adamant the Chiefs will win on Saturday.
"It's the one thing we always agree on, and that's how good the Chiefs are," Sam said.
Maori Television will screen delayed coverage, from 9pm.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs have moved swiftly to quash rumours that Saturday's final has already sold out.
Tickets to the general public go on sale from 8am today but season members and corporate sponsors have had since midday Monday to secure their tickets.
Members are able to buy a maximum of 11 tickets - their own seat and 10 extras, prompting fears there will be little to no tickets left for public sale.
But late this afternoon the Chiefs issued a statement that said tickets were still available in all areas.
And any out-of-towners heading to the city for the big game can expect a clear run on the roads, with no delays expected on Waikato and Bay of Plenty state highways.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) State Highway operations manager, Karen Boyt, said supporters travelling to Saturday's match are likely to come into the city from the north, east and south.
Contractors would continue to keep an eye on weather forecasts and road conditions as the weekend approaches.
Showers, northerlies and 16 degrees are predicted for Saturday.
- © Fairfax NZ News