Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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With the god-like Dan Carter (above) currently crocked with a hamstring injury and still no sign of a high-quality back-up, are the odds of an overdue All Blacks triumph in this year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand lengthening?
With my final tickets long booked, I’m hoping against hope that all will be right on the night but 24 years of disappointment has even the most patriotic Kiwi fan a little nervous about events.
I will be attending that final with a large Irish travel retail industry contingent – Colm and Breeda McLoughlin, John and Karl Sutcliffe and Mike Murphy.
Noting the ominous success of Ireland’s Leinster club in yesterday’s Heineken Cup semi-final and Ireland’s recent thrashing of England in the Six Nations championship, I ventured to suggest to two of my Moodie Report colleagues, Dermot Davitt (Irish) and John Rimmer (English) that the Irish may even go further in the tournament than my beloved Blacks. Surrounded by my travelling Celtic contingent that is an unthinkable prospect, I surmised.
Quick as a flash Mr Rimmer (below), a near-fanatical fan of English midlands (and now mid-table) Premier League team West Bromwich Albion (known affectionately as ‘the Baggies’ responded: “Your eternal sporting pessimism is worthy of an Englishman… if New Zealand don’t win the Rugby World Cup, I’ll wear a Wolves [Wolverhampton Wanderers] shirt to the next Trinity Forum.”
Given that fellow Midlands team Wolves are the nearest thing to Satan to the average West Brom fan (let alone an aficionado like John), such a pledge must be recorded for posterity.
And much as I admire his confidence in the All Blacks, part of my bitterness if we don’t end nearly two and a half decades of disbelief, debacle and depression will be assuaged by the pioneering sight of a certain conference moderator wearing a gold Wolverhampton Wanderer’s shirt (below) while declining absolutely all photo opportunities.
Footnote: No West Bromwich supporter was harmed during the production of this story.