Black humour was the only refuge for South African rugby officials on Wednesday after they lost out in the vote to stage the 2023 World Cup, a global event the nation had been convinced was in the bag.
Some of Ireland's near neighbours are even said to have overlooked the Irish bid as the French swept home.
France received 24 votes to South Africa's 15 in the final round of voting.
South Africa hosted the iconic 1995 edition - which saw the first black president of the country, Nelson Mandela, adorned in a Springbok jersey, then seen as one of the pillars of white apartheid rule - handing the trophy to white South Africa captain Francois Pienaar.
David Sterling, Head of Northern Ireland Civil Service: "I too would like to congratulate France and wish them well for a successful tournament in 2023".
"These clarifications have been addressed with significant supporting detail, and have been shared with the host candidates and World Rugby council".
"It was not the process which was not fair, but there were some aspects we did not find fair".
Bill Beaumont the chairman of World Rugby will oversee the voting process tomorrowSHIZUO KAMBAYASH AP
Browne, who admitted the report had left him very surprised and disappointed, said evidently their vision and that of World Rugby as to how a World Cup should be hosted were worlds apart. The remaining Six Nations and SANZAR countries had three votes each with the rest made up from the six regional associations and smaller rugby countries.
"Our feeling was that in a secret ballot people could vote for whoever they wanted without fear", World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said.
Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, stated the South Africa had accepted the result despite the disappointment.
Former Ulster and Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris added: "Having played in New Zealand in 2011, I've seen at first-hand how special an experience a World Cup can be".
"However, the view of the experts and World Rugby's leadership was overturned by World Rugby Council members, who may have had other factors to take into account".
Episode 36 of The Hard Yards rugby podcast features Tiernan O'Halloran and James Downey, with Tadhg Furlong on South Africa.
"We can not hide our desolation but, for the sake of rugby we wish the 2023 tournament hosts every success".
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PowerPass has undergone a soft launch since its reveal in October with a full public launch slated to occur on November 19. That means any in-store advertisements for PowerPass have been removed and put in storage until further notice.
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Head coach Sean McDermott did not say what his status would be for the game. "At the end of the day, we still have the same goal". Buffalo traded starting receiver Sammy Watkins and starting cornerback Ronald Darby in separate deals on the same day in August.
You can listen to Italy v Sweden in the World Cup play-off second leg live on talkSPORT2, on Monday, November 13 from 19:45 . It's make or break for the Azzurri tonight as they go into the pivotal qualifier 1-0 down against the Swedes.
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