South Africa triumph over rain and France
South Africa beat France in dreadful conditions in Durban. '[The referee] apparently was concerned mostly about the dangers posed if a scrum should collapse in a large pool of water' © Getty Images
"With lightning flashing out across the Indian Ocean, thunder echoing round the bay and one end of the ground looking more like a lake than a rugby pitch, there seemed to be no chance of the game starting at all," wrote Mick Cleary in the Guardian. "[Derek] Bevan (the referee) apparently was concerned mostly about the dangers posed if a scrum should collapse in a large pool of water. As a gaggle of officials stood in the middle of the pitch, fingers crossed behind their backs and water squelching over their shoes, they hit upon the high-tech way to get the match under way. No expense was spared by the organisers of a tournament expected to return a profit of £20 million. They gave the signal and five old dears with scarves around their heads ambled on to the pitch with brooms and began gently sweeping the way to the touchline. It was rich entertainment on a miserably sodden day."
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