As Steve Hansen and Warren Gatland’s sniping ramps up tension before the first Test, a cheeky All Blacks fan has provided a bit of light-hearted relief by auctioning off a ‘rare’ Lions try online.
The ‘try for sale’, which was listed in the ‘antiques and collectibles’ category of the Trade Me auction site, took aim at the conservative so-called ‘Warrenball’ tactics employed by the Lions on tour.
The advertiser described ‘the try’ as a “rare phenomenon as scarce as a good French referee” and “in great condition as it has not often seen the light of day.”
The ‘buy now’ option normally available for other products was not available in this case given the unpredictability of availability.
“No BUY NOW as it is widely known that the British and Irish Lions cannot BUY a try. Not to be confused with the more common ALL BLACKS TRY.”
The listing went on to explain the reason for the demand for the product.
“Many Lions tries have been available in the past, but historically they are spurned in favour of the much more common Lions penalty with its much less value and spectator appeal.”
After generating 28,404 views and 35 bids the try was eventually sold for $42 when the auction closed this morning. The money raised was donated to ‘Kids in the Middle’, a charity campaign for Women’s Refuge. The winning bidder also received a framed copy photograph of Blues player Ihaia West scoring against the Lions earlier in the tour.
As an added bonus, if the successful bidder was “English”, they would receive “a tub of hair gel so you can dress up as your favourite player” and which, in remembrance of Manu Tuilagi’s infamous spontaneous plunge into Auckland harbour during England’s 2011 World Cup, “will also protect your image in case of an ad hoc swim off the back of an Auckland harbour ferry!”
The advertisement also led to some mostly good-natured banter between buyers and the seller in the customer questions forum.
“Is this auction for a ‘Lions Test Try against the All Blacks’? Or does such thing only exist in the realm of unicorns, leprechauns, bigfoot, and the Loch Ness monster?” one customer asked.
The seller quipped: “Yes! Hey even ole Nessie has been spotted a few times…. But never in NZ waters!”
Another bidder asked: “What year is it? I didn’t think the 2017 version was available yet and was still in concept stage?”
The seller had an answer at the ready: “This is a ’71 vintage mate… Dusted off for this tour!”
The listing also attracted offers to exchange the Lions try with items of similar rarity and value. One presumably British and Irish Lions fan made this very reasonable offer:
To which the seller cheekily replied: “Oooohhhhh… Where did you find that rare delicacy! Sound investment that bud!…. Keep hold of it! You could store it in the Twickenham World Cup Trophy cabinet… if there’s room? (Runs away quickly……..)”
Kaal Kaczmarek, Pundit Arena
Hat tip: nzherald.co.nz