Because Australia and New Zealand battled it out in the rugby and the first female jockey won the Melbourne Cup, sport was a major part of this week's Tweets in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Rugby World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand only seemed to heighten the traditional rivalry between the two antipodean nations as it played out across Twitter. Trending under the hashtags #RWC #RugbyWorldCup #AusvNZL #RWCFINAL, tweeting of the event peaked in the early hours of Sunday morning, Australian Eastern Standard Time, as the All Blacks took out the game.

This reverb from Twitter Australia shows that #RWCFinal generated 560,000 tweets over the 24-hour period, peaking at 2,900 tweets per minute as the match came to a close.

The Rugby World Cup's official Twitter account generated thousands of retweets as fans around the world were updated with the game's progress in real time. Its strongest performing tweet was this video of the New Zealand team's famous haka.

Brands found clever ways to participate in the hype. Porsche had a play-off between Australian and New Zealander professional racing car drivers Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley:

Famous Kiwi chocolate brand Whittakers used a video for this Tweet:

Here's a tweet (Read more...) Rugby World Cup sponsor MasterCard:

This All Blacks winning tweet garnered more than 8,000 retweets:

Event sponsor Heineken used New Zealand rugby legend Jonah Lomu as part of its social campaign around #ItsYourCall:

Beats by Dre ran a well-executed #TheGameStartsHere campaign across social media, including YouTube and Twitter, benefitting from a partnership with All Black's captain Richie McCaw.

Land Rover offered free tickets to the match.

And Tourism Australia went with the iconic Sydney Opera House to leave an impression.

National carriers Qantas and Air New Zealand took the competition to the skies with an #AirlineWager. When Australia lost, the good-natured Qantas crew donned All Black uniforms for the flight home. Here's how it played out on Twitter:

The race that stops a nation

Tuesday marked the Melbourne Cup, Australia's equivalent to the Kentucky Derby. Jockey Michelle Payne made history riding Prince of Penzance as the first woman to take home the cup. Tweets trended under the tags #MelbourneCup and #RaceThatStopsTheNation.

Betting houses took to social media to find ways to get the punters to part with their money. WilliamHill put together a clever Jockey Mean Tweets video. This became great retweetable content after Payne, who appears in the video, won the race.

TAB Trackside took a more sophisticated angle by depicting its content as newsy and informative:

Here's how Jeep, Tourism Australia and Australian telecommunications provider Telstra used the #MelbourneCup hashtag:

Even Australia's new social media savvy prime minister Malcolm Turnbull got in on the action.

Animal welfare groups used it as an opportunity to highlight the cruelty of the horse racing industry. Here's one from RSPCA Australia:

More sandwiches and less sunlight

Around the same time, daylight saving came to an end in the United States. Coca-Cola had this smart and sharp GIF, encouraging fans to share their extra hour with the hashtag #DaylightSippingTime, creating an abundance of user generated content (UGC).

Here's how other brands like National Geographic covered #DaylightSaving:

For all of us in publishing, this tweet from AP Styleguide was particularly useful:

Wednesday was #NationalSandwichDay in the U.S. The best tweet came from Subway and its buy-one-get-one-free promotion.

Emojis around the world

Back in Asia, the Indian government launched its #MakeInIndia Twitter emoji to promote itself as a global manufacturing hub. A black lion on an orange background now appears next to the #MakeInIndia hashtag in any Tweet worldwide.

Still on the subject of brand emoji for Twitter, Dove rolled out a special keyboard for its #LoveYourCurls campaign:

Meanwhile, Finland became the first country in the world to launch naked emoji:

Who likes likes?

And finally, Twitter this week switched its favorite button from a star to a heart.

The user responses were mixed:

Homepage image courtesy of @AllBlacks

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