Years of pain, suffering and putting up with calls from antagonists who try to dull the throbbing hurt by saying ‘it’s only a game’ might—and should—all be forgotten on Sunday night. And, from a marketing point of view, what a ride the RWC has been. There have been enthralling PR disasters with the likes of MasterCard, Adidas, Telecom and the IRB; there have been PR masterstrokes, like getting the whole NZ-based Tongan community behind their team; there have been great campaigns and stunts that sit somewhere between sneaky and savvy from the likes of Steinlager, NZ Pure, Vogel’s and KFC; there have been more than three million Tweets about the tournament and the teams involved in it; and, despite many doubters, Martin Snedden and his gang of RWC 2011 optimists managed to reach their massive ticket sales target and, with 87 percent of tickets sold, showed that marketing and fulfilment don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Hopefully that ride comes to an appropriate conclusion in Auckland, which, as one cad said, has looked like an artist’s impression for the past six weeks. And hopefully Richie McCaw gets to lead the ticker tape parade down Queen St in Telecom’s pink fist car, perhaps with the injured Captain Underpants riding shotgun.