Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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The time for talking (and there’s been plenty of it) is over. Today is Rugby World Cup final day in Auckland and in a few hours the All Blacks will face their traditional nemesis France in what promises to be an epic encounter.
Last night at the Sidmart restaurant in Ponsonby, OIivier Bottrie, President, Travel Retailing Worldwide at Estée Lauder, hosted an excellent dinner for travel retailers from JR Duty Free, DFS, Dubai Duty Free as well as myself and Bill Lumley from the media.
It was a great occasion, at which Olivier was presented with a haka-playing plush New Zealand teddy bear to remind him of what lies in store tonight.
A sumptuous ten-course meal was accompanied by appropriately equal lashings of Kiwi and French wine with a fair bit of banter on the side. Olivier is convinced that French glory awaits; I stick by my original prediction of New Zealand by 12.
The ‘travel retail house’ are about to head for the Viaduct waterfront area to sink some local Sauvignon Blanc and take in the pre-match atmosphere.
It’s not healthy to say it but I need a drink or two to steady my nerves which are currently running out of control. Like all New Zealanders I have waited 24 years for this moment. Tonight, destiny or disaster awaits. For me and every other Kiwi who worships at the altar of All Blacks rugby, the choice is that stark. “It’s only a game,” I console myself, not believing a word.
[After the English quarter-final exit to the French, Jonathan Holland has become an honorary Kiwi]
[Travel retail comes to Auckland: Colm and Breeda McLoughlin, Karl Sutcliffe, Martin Moodie, Theo Giesen of New Zealand’s Giesen wines, Jonathan Holland and John Sutcliffe get in some last-minute training for today’s big match]
[Is the result a foregone conclusion? Breeda McLoughlin awards the Cup to Martin Moodie]