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Remember the Great Aer Rianta International (ARI) Rugby World Cup Competition from late 2015, in which we invited travel retail’s top rugby pundits to pick the various results from one of the world’s greatest sporting contests?
For those of you with short memories, I can confirm that the Grand Final was won by the All Blacks of New Zealand over their arch-rivals, the Australian Wallabies.
In turn, the final of the ARI competition was won by Roderick (‘Roddy’) McOwan, Senior Vice President Business Development for Marshall Retail Group in Las Vegas. Roddy picked a final scoreline of 32-19, just four points off the ultimate 37-17 result.
Roddy (who is, as you no doubt suspected, of Scottish heritage) accompanied his entry with a suitably Scottish lament to his team’s agonising last-minute, quarter-final loss to Australia):
Oh! I Feel for Scotland!
For those who fought and lost,
One poor line-out, and oh! The cost!
A referee who got it wrong,
The Scots were singing a bitter song…
But moving on!
No matter now, the final is here,
Two giants of the Southern Hemisphere,
Australia will fight no matter their choice of 15,
But the All Blacks will win 32-19!
For both punditry and poetry he was a deserved winner of ARI’s grand prize – two tickets to a 6 Nations Championship match in 2016 and a bottle of the superb Powers Aviation Release (below).
Two weeks ago, Roddy took up the match day part of his prize, attending (with his Dad) the Calcutta Cup showdown between Scotland and England at Murrayfield. The result? Alas, another Scottish lament, a 15-9 triumph for a formidable-looking England now coached by an Aussie, Eddie Jones.
But the loss did not deter Roddy’s Robbie Burns tendencies, as he revealed in a thank you note to ARI and The Moodie Report after the game.
The result was not what we hoped for,
Glad I didn’t try to predict the score.
But thanks to ARI, Moodie and the RWC final match, I took my father with a game to watch.
Off to Murrayfield, Rugby to enjoy,
Where my father took me as a boy.
After the RWC the Scottish spirits were up, Could they lift The Calcutta Cup?
A great first half came to an end alas,
In the second we couldn’t find a way past.
The English held on to win the match,
And the Scots were left with heads to scratch.
A note of thanks to both of you,
A chance to cheer the boys in blue.
A memory that I will always treasure,
Being with my father was a real pleasure.
Thanks Roddy. Thanks ARI.
Now look out for our great UEFA Euro 2016 competition, coming soon. With no Dan Carter nor Richie McCaw in sight, I wonder who to support?