“ESPN dollars fill Shark Tank”
BRISTOL, USA – The world’s largest rugby broadcaster, ESPN has paid $300,000 to the KZN Rugby Union in order to draw a capacity crowd to the Shark Tank for the 2035 Super Duper Rugby Final against the Connecticut Eagles.
“As stadium attendance in South Africa continues to dwindle, we have opted for a rent-a-crowd in order to give the television audience the most authentic audio experience,” said Orwell Niebalm, head of Second Screen Experience at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.
“Our research shows that the audience finds canned gasps and cheering quite repetitive after a while,” said Niebalm. “We see this as an investment in the fastest growing sport in the USA, and look forward to one day hosting our first Super Duper Rugby final. We’ll fill a stadium with ease.”
In addition to attendance, the paid spectators will also be required to sing Shosholoza and clap politely for the visitors.
This is the second time that an American team will contest Super Duper Rugby final. In 2031 the Washington Politicians beat the Crusaders in a thrilling encounter in Christchurch, securing a maiden title for the Americans.
“Scrum laws bolstered by new technology”
SYDNEY – New all-round camera technology pioneered by Walangatoongatamanatoga Systems is giving rugby referees a complete, real-time view of scrums and shining a bright light on the dark arts of scrum manipulation.
“I think it’s total bull****,” said former Wallaby prop Cameron Lillicrap. “In our day, a bit of niggle in the shove was considered creative and progressive. Now it’s all just become a boring and clinical shove-fest with more brawn than brains.”
The new technology allows referees to view the scrum from all angles, simultaneously and in real time by combining GoProUltra hovering microcameras with Apple Eyelens – the popular smart contact lens AR technology that took the market by storm three years ago.
But the bespoke rugby tech developed by Walangatoongatamanatoga will take it one step further by drawing lines across the scrum to make sure that the tight five maintain a shove that’s within the new scrum laws instituted after the penalty try that decided the 2031 World Cup final in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
“I think it’s a positive development,” said Kiwi scrum coach Mingus Mwaha’a. “We’ve already seen 30-metre scrum tries with the tight five knowing that continued infringements will result in a penalty try. Who knows where the latest step will lead?”
“Professor driven insane by new Super Duper Rugby format”
LONDON – A professor of logic had to be tranquilised and put in special care after he took off his clothes and climbed to the top of a spire at the Imperial College London, shouting, “It all makes sense to me now! Everything makes sense to me now! I understand everything! I understand it all!”
Professor Roger Thatsir was studying the latest Super Duper Rugby format when the incident occurred.
Passers-by said that, before he was subdued, Thatsir was defecating on a sill and flinging his faeces at a crowd that had gathered below.
“Serves him right,” said a former student who asked to remain anonymous. “Last year, he gave us the format to decipher in our final exam.”
“Rugby dots down on Mars”
ARSIA MONS – A group of colonists from SpaceX’s second crew to Mars have recently played the first game of touch rugby on a planet other than Earth.
The colonists, made up of English, American and Australian astronauts and engineers, played a friendly game of touch on the BFR rocket landing strip. Initial reports indicate that the gravity played havoc and the game was eventually abandoned after one of the players ended up leaping over the defence to score a try.
“Alexander breaks tenure record”
CAPE TOWN – It’s official. The longest serving rugby official in the world is South Africa’s Mark Alexander.
Having served on the board of the South African Sports Committee for the Moral Regeneration of Sport, Alexander ascended to South African Rugby’s highest position in 2016. The secret to his tenure of almost two decades is a combination of artificial blood for daily boosts of energy (a Singaporean technique refined by the regular patronage of ex-Zimbabwean despot Robert Mugabe, who has recently re-entered the public sphere as a popular YouTube personality), monthly CRISPR tablets to fend off disease, and cutting-edge organ cloning technology.
“Continuity is vital to the culture and ethos of the South African spirit of the game,” said a jovial Alexander. “Just look at all the good news pouring out of Russia as Vladimir Putin storms into his sixth presidential term. And he’s looking better than ever too.”
Challenged that the news was mostly fake, Alexander said, “Well that depends on who you ask…”
“Blitzboks continue unbeaten run”
HONG KONG – The Blitzboks continued an incredible unbeaten run with their 157th match ending in a 27-15 victory over a demoralized Barbarian Pacific Islands team that had been specially assembled to depose the rampant South Africans.
There was some controversy as the Tongan government granted honourary citizenship status to Sevens superstars Matt Rathbone (Australia) and A’i Yayai (New Zealand) in order to shoehorn them into the team.
In the end, the political shenanigans did not matter. The Blitzboks remain the most successful sports team in the history of the world.