Inspired Irish go oh so close to an almighty, All Black upset

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Our competition to pick the winner (and the score) of the All Blacks v Ireland rugby international in Christchurch, New Zealand at the weekend attracted plenty of entrants but few got anywhere near the final score.

All week the New Zealand media (with the exception of yours truly) had predicted that the All Blacks would thrash the boys in green. All our entrants (with the notable exceptions of Aer Rianta International CEO Jack MacGowan and TFWA’s Jane Grant) opted for a convincing All Blacks victory.

The Irish had not read the script. In fact they tore it up, just like they tore up any All Black player they were able to get their hands on during Saturday night’s game. Somehow the mighty men in Black held their nerve and sneaked victory with a last-minute drop goal from the godlike Dan Carter. 22-19 and still the Irish wait for a first-ever victory over the All Blacks awaits. Perhaps next weekend?

The clear winner of our competition to win a Dubai Duty Free ‘Finest Surprise’ ticket (in a raffle draw for a luxury car) was Peter Sant, Managing Director of Rémy Cointreau Global Travel Retail, who predicted a  25-14 win to the All Blacks.  A few seconds before that Dan Carter drop kick and Jane Grant was in position to take away the prize.

Jack MacGowan promised to wear the All Blacks jumper for a day in the office if he lost (after nobly refusing my generous 14-point start for the Irish and insisting on a straight bet) if I would wear the Irish colours and feature them on this Blog for a week if the result went the other way. Our picture below shows what Jack might look like this week.

As readers will know, the respective Kiwi and Irish beneficiaries of the bet were the Rugby World Cup Christchurch Appeal (, 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.

Jack is paying up his losing 200 Euros to the Christchurch charity. But so good was the Irish performance and so fortuitous our victory that I will also pay my 200 Euros to The Shane Geoghegan Trust. I’m also happy to be seen (top picture) wearing the green of Ireland – today I ran (well, walked actually) my leg of The Moodie Multi-National Marathon (7.3km) being towed by my golden labrador Mickali, clad (me, not the dog) in a fitting combo of black and green.

Roll on next weekend. Somehow I feel another bet coming on. But given the events of last Saturday in Christchurch, this time an Irish victory would be anything but an upset.

[In true journalistic tradition, Martin Moodie follows a strong lead from a dogged newshound]

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