Boks v Boyz in Green; Wallabies v Wales; Have your say in our latest Rugby World Cup Predictor Competition

The Irishman Single Malt Whiskey crafted from mashed South African bills (almost)

FRANCE. The Rugby World Cup this weekend moves into the critical stages of the pool matches, with several quarter-final spots set to be decided by the respective outcomes of key games, writes Martin Moodie.

As reported, The Moodie Davitt Report is celebrating this great sporting occasion with a series of reader competitions throughout the tournament. Today we bring you the next round of contests and also reveal the winners of our latest round.

Our next installment involves two crucial matches, leading off with a titanic (well, one will sink) Pool B showdown between Ireland and South Africa (the Springboks), both firmly ranked alongside hosts France as tournament co-favourites.

But here’s the thing, one of those three teams won’t even get past the quarter-finals. That’s due to the perversity of a draw based on November 2020 rankings rather than recent form. All three, along with New Zealand (the All Blacks) and the highly talented Scotland are included in Pools A and B.

Based on current form that means the winner of Ireland v the Springboks is likely to play the All Blacks in the quarter-finals (though Scotland could still have something to say about that and New Zealand has to beat Italy, hardly a given).

And although it hurts a Kiwi travel retail publisher to admit it, both teams will prefer that option to playing hosts France, who thumped the All Blacks 27-13 in the tournament opener. Therefore a whole lot hangs on Saturday’s showdown. Scroll down for entry details in our competition.

Our second match, to be played Sunday, is equally crucial as Australia’s so far very wobbly Wallabies (reeling from a loss to the flying Fijians) come up against so far unbeaten Wales. Lose and the boys in gold will be waltzing most unhappily back to the land of Oz. Win and then Wales may be imperiled.

Once more we have some fantastic prizes on offer.

For Ireland v South Africa we start with a super Irish whiskey courtesy of our long-time friends at Walsh Whiskey in Carlow, Ireland. Founder Bernard Walsh is offering a bottle of… well, you guessed it, The Irishman, to our top pundit.

This great triple-distilled single malt paved the way in leading the renaissance of Irish Single Malts.  It is matured in American Oak Bourbon and European Oak Oloroso Sherry casks to give exceptional flavour and complexity and crafted from a mash bill made entirely of Irish barley. Rich, honeyed maltiness and soft notes of candied fruit come from the double maturation.

Sounds as tasty as the match itself. But hold on, what if the Springboks, with their massive pack (and seven more man mountain forwards ready to come off the bench in the second half –  provided the bench lasts that long) mash a few Irish bills instead?

The Irish are confident alright but maybe a little too much so. For here’s what Walsh Whiskey’s communications advisor Conor Dempsey had to say to me: “With the All Blacks on the slide we are all Irishmen now, the great diaspora (you Martin) being an important part of that… the Boks ain’t seen nothing like the mighty Chulainn…unleashing the Irish Gods of War!”

The reference is to Cú Chulainn, a warrior hero and demigod in Irish mythology. Named Sétanta at birth, he was gifted with amazing strength, speed and skill (getting worried yet Boks supporters?)

Wilderness Ireland relates how Sétanta’s uncle, King Conor (no, not Irish scrumhalf Conor Murray), invited young Sétanta to a feast thrown by a blacksmith called Culann, who made spears for the King (apparently he lost one along the way but said, “Don’t worry I have a spear”). Arriving late, Sétanta was greeted by Culann’s unchained and ferocious hound and was forced to kill it in self-defence.

(Left) Cú Chulainn pictured after slaying the guard dog known as Bokkie; (Right) The Irish rugby team emerge from the changing rooms {Photo: The Irish Road Trip}

The King was pleased his nephew had survived but Culann was unamused at the loss of his trusty guard dog. So the mighty Sétanta put his mind to rest by offering to take the dog’s place until another could be found. From that day on Setanta was called Cú Chulainn, meaning Hound of Culann.

Wow! The Boks’ odds just shot out to 1,000-1 with the prospect of being hounded all over the field by 15 latter-day Cú Chulainns.

Or will the tables be turned and the ferocious hounds known as Etzebeth, du Toit and Mbonambi unleash all kinds of fury and destruction, mangling the Irish like shamrocks crushed underfoot and then grilling them on the Braii?

Anthony Budd, Managing Director of South African wine specialist Diverse Flavours (Green Village K55 at TFWA World Exhibition) clearly thinks so. And to back up his own prediction he has contributed an amazing prize to our competition – Grand Constance from Groot Constantia,  South Africa’s oldest winery dating back to 1685.

Grand Constance was voted best South African Sweet Wine in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2016  with 98 points.

Groot Constantia is one of Cape Town’s ‘BIG 6’ tourist destinations along with Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront, Cape Point, Kirstenbosch botanical gardens and Robben Island. Pre-pandemic, it attracted 500, 000 visitors every year, including 100,000 Chinese, to its beautiful setting featuring magnificent terroir and award-winning wine.

As for the All Blacks being on the slide (King) Conor, let’s see shall we? In fact let’s see on 15 October at Stade de France when I predict a match-up between our flying Kiwis with Ireland when the few survivors of your Boks-mangled team will come up against a fresh, fit and ferocious New Zealand side who will have just dispensed with Italy like a waiter does a corked Barolo.


The best of South Australia and South Wales is on offer to our winner, courtesy of Taylors Wines and Penderyn Distillery

So to Australia v Wales. So far this is not shaping as a vintage Wallabies but we can promise you a prize that is, courtesy of Taylors Wines Market Development Manager Chris Davis.

Chris is predicting (Welsh supporters look away now) a Wallabies win by ten points after repeatedly piercing a leeky (sorry) Welsh defence and is donating a bottle of Taylors Pioneer Shiraz to underline his confidence, backed by a Wallabies scarf and beanie (you need to enter this contest as both could be collector’s items by the end of the weekend).

I can testify to the greatness of this wine, crafted from the finest fruit selection and entirely grown and bottled on the Taylor family estate.

But Simon Roffe, Director, Business Development at Penderyn Distillery (The Welsh Whisky Company), is having none of that prediction and is putting up a beautiful prize in the form of the new 100cl duty-free exclusive Penderyn Faraday, to be released at TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes.

Penderyn Distillery is the home of Welsh Whisky and produces award-winning single malt whiskies from three distilleries – in Brecon Beacons, Llandudno and, as reported, the recently opened Swansea Copperworks.

Last week’s results

We also offered some super prizes for the Wallabies v Fiji (15-22) and England v Japan (34-12) matches last weekend.

For the former match, Lotte Duty Free Oceania CEO & Director Steve Timms kindly offered another outstanding bottle of Taylors South Australian wine, The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon (right). “Very appropriate to many in our industry!” noted Steve.

And he was right but only in a very few cases, most entrants opting for the much-favoured Aussie side. And given that Australian coach Eddie Jones got the hump at his team’s shock loss, our highly appropriate winner is Patrick Dorais, Director of Sales at Al Nassma, the Dubai-based camel milk chocolate producer.

Patrick opted for a 21-23 scoreline in favour of Fiji for an impressive seven-points differential, just ahead of round one winner Cliff Nolan, the Irish General Manager of Tourvest-led Barbados travel retailer Ganzee, who plumped for Fiji by 26-20. An Irishman working for a South African company could make for some interesting banter in the lead-up to the match.

Cliff advises that he and his boss Samantha, along with their partners, will be in Paris this weekend wearing opposing colours, for the Ireland v Boks match.

A bottle of fine Silent Pool gin is heading the way of Holland, Jonathan Holland that is
Hinotori 5 Year Old: A lovely prize for the winner of our Japan-England score competition

For England-Japan, we offered two prizes. From the English side, Silent Pool Distillers Global Sales Director Adam Dobson kindly contributed a bottle of the outstanding Silent Pool gin, crafted in the Surrey Hills in southeast England. As reported, Silent Pool was recently acquired by William Grant & Sons. The brand is represented by Barry Geoghegan’s Duty Free Global in travel retail.

And for Japan, Duty Free Global Founder Barry Geoghegan partnered with BBC Spirits to put forward a bottle of the superb Hinotori Japanese whisky 5 Year Old. As reported, BBC Spirits has appointed Duty Free Global as the company’s partner in the global channel.

Hinotori whisky takes its name from the Japanese word for phoenix, echoing the rebirth of the Hekinan distillery founded in 1949. But this time it was England rising like a phoenix from the team’s poor pre-tournament form and winning comfortably.

Almost all our entrants correctly chose England to win but our victor is that most passionate of English rugby supporters Jonathan ‘Chaps’ Holland, who can now celebrate the victory in style. Chaps opted for a 32-16 English win, a six-point differential, two ahead of another sector veteran, industry consultant Peter Sant, who picked a 27-11 scoreline, eight points off.

The competition continues…

The rules are simple:

    • You must be directly connected to the aviation or travel retail industry to enter
    • Pick the winning team (or draw) and predict a score
    • The winner will have chosen the correct result (i.e. Ireland win, South Africa win, or draw) and be the closest entrant on total points differential (i.e. if the match ends 29-18 to Ireland, and you picked them to win 25-16 you would have a differential of 6; if South Africa win 33-12 and you said 23-10 in their favour, your differential would be 12; if you accurately predicted a draw… well you are a very good pundit indeed).
    • In the event of a tie, the winner will be decided on who gets closest to the winning team’s score. If still tied, our sponsors do a random draw.
    • Send your exact score predictions (one only per match please) to headed Ireland  v Springboks showdown by one hour pre-kick-off on 23 September and Australia v Wales showdown by one hour pre-kick off the next day.
    • Judges’ decision is final. ✈

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