They might live in NZ, but they back Boks

12:08 pm on 24 October 2015

They may live in New Zealand, but South African immigrants will be cheering for the Springboks when they take on the All Blacks this weekend in the Rugby World Cup semi-final

South Africa's head coach Heyneke Meyer (Foreground) is pictured during a team training session at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford, south east England on October 21, 2015, during the 2015 Rugby World Cup

South Africa's head coach Heyneke Meyer during a team training session on 21 October in Guildford Photo: AFP

The much-anticipated clash kicks off at 4am on Sunday.

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Auckland lawyer Ian Mallett was born in South Africa but moved to New Zealand nearly two decades ago.

But when it comes to rugby, his loyalty remains with the Springboks.

He, along with fellow immigrant Errol Rudman, said the game could go either way - and they would be up watching in the early hours of Sunday morning.

"There is nothing like watching a game like that live, and being part of an atmosphere. So I'm pretty staunch and committed to getting up at 3am," Mr Mallett said.

Mr Rudman had the same plan. "I think this is one to watch live, and let the whole neighbourhood know that we're watching."

South African immigrants Ian Mallett and Errol Rudman are backing the Springboks this weekend.

South African immigrants Ian Mallett and Errol Rudman are backing the Springboks this weekend. Photo: RNZ / Alex Ashton

Hermien Smith works at the South African store in Rosedale, Auckland.

She said the country's finest traditional fares were selling extra well, as people stocked up on game-time snacks.

Everyone coming into the store had rugby on the brain, she said.

"They all think it's going to be a very good game [and] they all say South Africa is going to win - but of course if it's the team you're supporting you would say that... May the best team win!"

Hermien Smith - who works at the South African store in Rosedale, Auckland - says biltong is proving extra popular during World Cup season.

Hermien Smith - who works at the South African store in Rosedale, Auckland - says biltong is proving extra popular during World Cup season. Photo: RNZ / Alex Ashton

Punters are expected to pack out bars around the country for the game, pint in hand and eyes glued to the television screen.

However, one All Blacks fan, Todd, said he would be among those viewing from home - along with his South African wife. He said there would not be any tension.

"We'll be sitting on other sides of the room. It'll be sweet as!"

Whichever side wins the spot in the final will play the winner of Monday morning's Australia-Argentina match.

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