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South Africa's Siya Kolisi lifts the Webb Ellis Cup with teammates following victory in the Rugby World Cup 2023 final match at the Stade de France in Paris, France. Picture: David Davies/ PA/ Backpagepix
South Africa's Siya Kolisi lifts the Webb Ellis Cup with teammates following victory in the Rugby World Cup 2023 final match at the Stade de France in Paris, France. Picture: David Davies/ PA/ Backpagepix

1. SA beats NZ — again

South Africa not only beat New Zealand in rugby on Saturday, but also in a “best place to visit” contest, according a poll in The Times. South Africa won for best hotels, value, travel time (12 hours from London vs 24) and, of all things, for its national bird, the blue crane. The kiwi, the UK newspaper said, resembled Boris Johnson with a pencil up his nose.

2. Swearing by the game

English rugby, meanwhile, can’t get away from the C-word. Last week the game’s controlling body in England accused Springbok Bongi Mbonambi of using it to insult an England player, then banned a former member of its own council after he called a Twickenham volunteer a “black c***”. Andrew Sarek made the remark at England’s World Cup warm-up match against Wales at Twickenham in August.

3. Jet age cricket

At another World Cup, India’s new economic clout was revealed in travel to the cricket. Some well-heeled fans were ferried to the recent India-Pakistan match in about 200 private jets, according to The Economic Times. The Ahmedabad airport directed many to land at Mumbai, 90 minutes’ flying time away, and a Boeing 787 was used as a shuttle. Tickets for the shuttle started at R4,300.

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