A bit of back and forth Taranaki club rugby banter never hurt anybody, especially not ex-army soldier Zane Miller – until he lost a bet, along with some of his dignity.
The Taranaki Construction and Maintenance Limited (TCM) apprentice placed a bet with a workmate on the CMK premiere club rugby semifinal match between Tukapa and New Plymouth Old Boys’ on Saturday.
Miller was cheering on Tukapa from the sidelines, while Matthew Guthrie was playing for New Plymouth Old Boys’ – his side’s 26-13 win securing a place in the final against Coastal and the chance to dress his workmate.
By Monday, the ex-soldier of 12 years was dressed in his fellow apprentice Guthrie’s choice of a purple tutu, pink ballet flats and bright red lipstick at the staff’s Monday morning tool box meeting.
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Miller doesn’t play rugby and only supported Tukapa, who have won the championship for the last two years, to keep the workplace banter at an all time high during rugby season.
He said TCM owner Gary Watt also supported New Plymouth Old Boys’.
“I just support Tukapa because the other builder did,” he said. “And it goes against the boss.
“It’s funny though, I used to play for Old Boys at school.”
Miller said he spent 12 years in the infantry in the army but didn’t want to share any more details out of fear his dress up would be exposed.
“I don’t want the boys finding out,” he said, wiping the red lipstick from his mouth.
Guthrie, who’s in his second year of playing for New Plymouth Old Boys’, said he played rugby at New Plymouth Boys’ High School and moving on to play for the club team was a “given”.
He was pretty happy to have won the game on the weekend, advancing Old Boys to the grand final against Coastal at Inglewood’s TET stadium this Saturday with a 2.45pm kick off.
But he was even more thrilled to have won the bet.
“I’m pretty stoked to be honest,” Guthrie said.
Despite all of this, Miller is supporting his workmate’s team this weekend – sort of.
“I’ll back them in the final,” he said. “But Coastal by 15.”