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Aer Rianta International CEO Jack MacGowan has bravely accepted my wager on the outcome of this weekend’s rugby international in my hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand – and added a nice twist to it.
As I wrote in my last Blog, this is the first rugby international to be played in Christchurch since the deadly February 2011 earthquake, which killed many people, destroyed most of the inner business district and wrecked the city’s AMI Stadium where all Rugby World Cup matches were due to be played. It will be an emotional occasion.
Taking up the challenge that Jack laid down at the recent Trinity Forum in Seoul, when he presented me with an Irish rugby jumper, complete with shamrock – symbol of the original Holy, rather than industry, Trinity – and suggested I wear it on stage during the event, I offered him a bet on this weekend’s match.
I said I was prepared to wear the Irish colours for a full day in the office and at a nominated industry function on a wager with Jack (who must wear the All Blacks kit, complete with silver fern, on a similar basis) on the outcome. I was even prepared (based on last Saturday’s convincing win for the All Blacks in the first test) to give him 14 points in.
The two Kiwi and Irish beneficiaries of the bet would be the Rugby World Cup Christchurch Appeal (www.rwcchristchurchappeal.com), dedicated to helping restore Christchurch’s wrecked rugby infrastructure, and The Shane Geoghegan Trust, formed in honour of a rugby player from Garryowen who was tragically murdered in a case of mistaken identity as part of a gang feud in Limerick in 2008.
Did a proud Irishman need to be patronised by a Kiwi and offered 14 points in? Did he heck. Here’s Jack’s reply: “200 Euros it is. I looked at the odds on Paddy Power, and would you believe it, an Irish win is 12-1 and All Blacks are 1-40.
“Lets donate the €200 to each charity (on an evens basis), but where I will gladly wear the All Blacks jersey for a day, you have to wear the Irish jersey and put a picture up on your Blog for a week! You never know, it might bring you luck!”
There you have it. Will it be All Black for the boys in green on Saturday night in bleak, cold and rainy Christchurch (think fishing boat conditions in mid-winter off the coast of Shannon but 5 degrees colder) or will Irish eyes be smiling?
Whatever the answer, expect to see one of the sights below, very soon.
FOOTNOTE:We’ll also offer a free ticket in the latest Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise draw for a luxury car to the reader who gets closest to the final score on Saturday. You must a) get the winning team right; b) give us your predicted score for each team. We’ll award on the basis of the closest collective difference to the final scores. Send your entries by match-time on e-mail headed ‘Welcome back Christchurch’ to Martin@TheMoodieReport.com