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Sunday Oct 22, 2023

Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi allegedly verbally abuses England's Tom Curry

Reigning Rugby World Cup champions South Africa defeated England 16 – 15 to book their place in next weekend’s final.

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Trailing until the 77th minute, the Boks looked set to be on the receiving end of what would have been a shocking upset.

Playing a tactically masterful game, England led by Owen Farrell pinned the Boks back for the majority of the fixture. Yet, as they have done time and again, the Boks simply found a way to get the win.

The catalyst for the victory was the long try in the fixture which was scored by secondrow RG Snyman who powered over following an early burst by Bok replacement backrow Deon Fourie.

Now trailing by just a single point following Handre Pollard’s conversion, an air of inevitability sunk in that South Africa would get at least one more chance to snatch victory.

So it was that Pollard would get a final shot at goal as the Bok scrum earned a penalty near the halfway line.

Coolly standing over the ball, Pollard proved why he is such a crucial piece to Bok puzzle by slotting the kick and with it all but confirming the Boks place in the final.

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Whilst the match was a tense tussle with plenty of niggle between the old rivals, an alleged moment has emerged that is rather less savoury.

Caught on ref mic, England backrow Tom Curry approached referee Ben O’Keeffe to explain that Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi had verbally abused him.

Curry said to O’Keeffe, “Sir, if their hooker calls me a white c***. What do I do?” to which the referee replied “Nothing please.”

Asked about the incident post match and whether it cleared up after the match, Curry said, “No, it doesn’t need to be talked about.”

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It was then put to Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids if he was aware of the incident, “Honestly, I’m not aware of any comment. It was never discussed, so I’m just not quite sure what the comment was or where it was said, so I don’t know.” Davids concluded.

If proven true, Mbonambi could be cited under World Rugby’s regulation 9.12 “A player must not verbally abuse anyone. Verbal abuse includes but is not limited to, abuse based on religion, colour, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation.”

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