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Say what you like about the Irish but never, just never, question their commitment to service…
Regular Moodie Bloglodites (my first new word for 2017) will remember our recent Black v Green rugby competitions, in which we asked readers to predict the scores of the two Ireland v All Blacks rugby matches at Soldier Field, Chicago and the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, respectively. In turn we offered the winners some outstanding prizes.
As has been extensively documented (certainly in the Irish press), the boys in green stunned those in black in Chicago, posting their first-ever win over the Kiwi legends in 111 years by 40 points to 29.
Neither the All Blacks nor The Moodie Blog were going to accept that for very long and revenge was very much in Dublin’s crisp Autumn air as the rematch on 19 November neared.
Once more we invited readers to put their punditry skills to the test and this time, unlike the Irish reader-stacked first competition (we Kiwis suspect insider trading), the Kiwis (Bloglodites and All Blacks) came out to play.
After a titanic (i.e. the Irish sank) struggle, the All Blacks came out on top 21-9 and, appropriately a Kiwi was the winner of our readers’ competition.
She was none other than Diana Nisbet, Retail Leasing Executive at Auckland Airport, with her stunning prediction of All Blacks 26-Ireland 13, a total differential of just 9 points from the actual result.
These Kiwi women sure know their rugby and Diana duly won a series of superb prizes, including two great Irish whiskeys from Walsh Whiskey Distillery, The Irishman 12yo Single Malt and Writers’ Tears Red Head; and three bottles of the superb Tito’s Handmade Vodka (produced in the Lone Star state of Texas, USA), compliments of its duty free specialist, Irishman Barry Geoghegan.
Dubliner David Spillane, Founder & Owner of Global Travel Retail Sales, offered a beautiful silver fern (New Zealand’s and the All Blacks’ national symbol) piece of Waterford jewellery (David’s company handles the classic Irish brand in travel retail).
Reflecting our Kiwi/Irish joint ownership, The Moodie Davitt Report chipped in with three bottles of Hunter’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand (Hunter’s was founded by an Irishman Ernie Hunter). Diana also got to celebrate the sweet taste of Kiwi success with The Butlers Chocolate Platinum Collection (courtesy of the Irish chocolate house’s Sales Director Karl Marnane.
And hey, while Diana was holding the mother of all celebratory parties, she could even don an All Blacks jumper, courtesy of Adidas at Auckland Airport (and Auckland Airport General Manager – Retail and All Blacks supporter Richard Barker). Finally, just in case she was worried her party was running dry, Treasury Wine Estates chipped in like Beauden Barrett with six bottles of its fabulous Matua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
The spoils of victory have all now been delivered to Diana but none in more style than those offered by Messrs Geoghegan and Spillane, who with a level of service every bit as slick as Irish scrum-half Conor Murray’s, hand-delivered their prizes to Diana in Auckland last week.
How two Irish rugby fanatics got through New Zealand immigration post that Soldier Field result is beyond me. I guess it shows what a forgiving lot us Kiwis are. But I digress. Guess what they duly discovered? Diana is getting married this year. And guess when she’s getting married? On St Patrick’s Day, of course, 17 March! Is there no limit to the influence of The Moodie Blog?
We send our congratulations and best wishes to Diana and her future husband Hamish, and our thanks to David and Barry for service above and beyond the call of duty (free). With all those prizes, it’s going to be a hell of a wedding party.