This is what comes of a country whose population hangs onto the world upside down, by their fingernails ...
(er .. don't they?)
It was every Catholic's worst nightmare – and a hardy Wairarapa footy player's: the Pope's death announced as the kicker prepared his run-up in the last minutes of a semifinal.
The ground announcer's quip in the Wairarapa-Bush club rugby semifinal might have helped cost Marist a place in the final.
Marist's Paddy Rimene was lining up a penalty kick in front of the posts – aiming to give Marist a victory over Gladstone. The score was 10-10.
Moments before his run-up, a voice over the loudspeaker declared the Pope had died in a car accident. As Rimene's kick bounced off the post, the loudspeaker announced the Pope was in fact fine and the accident was only a fender bender.
Gladstone won 13-10, with a penalty conversion in extra time.Mr Rimene – who usually nails his kicks – admitted being "really annoyed" by the comments.