Waikato residents have woken this morning to discover Russian armoured personnel carriers and camouflaged soldiers patrolling the streets of their towns and cities. In a highly clinical operation, Russian forces conducted landings and paradrops throughout the region overnight in order to seize control of the region’s rugby riches and harness them to improve their chances to win gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“Hello Zealand,” Russian President Vladimir Putin broadcast to the Waikato at 7am this morning, “Welcome to Russia. We have expressed great gratitude that you volunteer to join the glorious Russian Federation so we can win gold Sevens Rugby together at Rio Olympics.”
While most New Zealanders elsewhere in the country were at first skeptical that anywhere called Waikato actually existed, after having it pointed out to them as “that place you use the State Highway 1 Bypass to try and avoid” and “it’s where the milk comes from”, they now acknowledge that Russia’s seizure of the Waikato might be of some cause for concern when it comes to the nation’s rugby fortunes.
“Aw, it’s a bit stink eh? said Taupo resident Ben Saunders on the edge of the Russian occupied zone. “That whole Chiefs rugby team were doing alright weren’t they? Won a few games, smelled a lot like someone had been using too much Rexona, but yeah, stink one. Don’t know what we’ll do without them.”
The New Zealand Rugby Union and Government were seen entering into crisis talks shortly after news of the occupation emerged. However Prime Minister John Key was quick to dismiss rumours of a Gordon Tietjens for Waikato swap, “Look, I think the majority of Kiwis wouldn’t support that course of action. Clearly, Titch is something of a national treasure and Aucklanders aren’t necessarily that bothered with having a buffer zone filled with angry Russians to separate them from the rest of the country.”
“And let’s be honest, the feeling is probably mutual,” Mr Key added.
While it’s not yet clear if the Russians will release any specialist 15-a-side rugby players from the Waikato, All Black’s coach Steve Hansen seemed optimistic regardless.
“Most of those Chiefs players are replacable,” Hansen said. “The only one I’d really want to be released by the Russians is Aaron Cruden and that’s only because nobody is sure where Stephen Donald has gotten to.”