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Sport Haka challenges: seven top responses to the All Blacks ritual

11:25  30 october  2019
11:25  30 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

'There's always a better Samurai around the corner' - Jones

  'There's always a better Samurai around the corner' - Jones The semi-finalists have been found at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, but most people think the All Blacks clash with England will in essence be the final. Wales and the Springboks round out the last four, but neither were impressive in the way they reached the semi-finals.South Africa were the last team to qualify for the final four, ending the fairytale run of hosts Japan with a 26-3 win in Tokyo.Pictures: Best shots from the 2019 Rugby World Cup 1/136 SLIDES © Peter Cziborra/Reuters The ninth Rugby World Cup is being held in Japan from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2, 2019.

The first known counter- challenge to the haka was by Ireland in 1989 when they formed a V-shaped wedge and moved slowly towards the All Blacks The Tongans were supposed to wait until the haka was complete before starting their response but no sooner had the All Blacks uttered their "ka mate"

The first known counter- challenge to the haka was by Ireland in 1989 when they formed a V-shaped wedge and moved slowly towards the All Blacks The Tongans were supposed to wait until the haka was complete before starting their response but no sooner had the All Blacks uttered their "ka mate"

England have been fined for crossing the halfway line in their response to New Zealand's haka before last week's Rugby World Cup semi-final.

From ignoring the haka to performing one of their own, opponents down the years have come up with innovative ways to face down the pre-match ritual.

Here are some of the best ripostes to the ancient Maori challenge:

- Do one yourself -

a group of football players on the field: One of the great sights in sport, the All Black haka © Behrouz MEHRI One of the great sights in sport, the All Black haka On New Zealand's 2008 tour of the British Isles, Irish provincial side Munster had a unique idea to counter the haka: do one yourself.

Munster had in their ranks four New Zealanders, who stepped out before the All Blacks had a chance to set up the dance and performed a haka of their own as the crowd roared its approval.

The ploy almost worked on the pitch as well -- Munster were just minutes away from replicating their famous 1978 win over New Zealand before a try from wing Joe Rokococo gave the All Blacks a 20-18 victory.

a group of people watching a football game: France stare down the challenge at the Rugby World Cup final © GREG WOOD France stare down the challenge at the Rugby World Cup final

- Don't move a muscle -

Also on the 2008 New Zealand tour, Wales came up with their own innovative response: an absolute refusal to budge after the haka was completed, resulting in a stand-off lasting several minutes.

As both teams stood stock-still facing each other, referee Jonathan Kaplan remonstrated in vain with the captains to get the game started but neither wanted to blink first.

Eventually the game kicked off in an electric atmosphere at the Millennium Stadium but the pre-match antics did not help the home side, with the All Blacks winning 29-9.

The All Blacks perform the haka ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between England and New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama on October 26, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. © Getty Images The All Blacks perform the haka ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between England and New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama on October 26, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.

- Ignore it -

At a 1996 Bledisloe Cup match in Wellington, Australia decided to completely ignore the haka, performing their warm-up drills in their own half instead of facing up to the challenge.

It echoed a famous moment in the 1991 World Cup when star Wallaby David Campese drifted away and started practising his kicking as the All Blacks laid down the haka.

This riled up the New Zealanders more than any other response to the haka, as they felt it showed disrespect. Perhaps feeling some extra motivation, they trounced the Aussies 43-6.

Wallaby captain John Eales later described the action as his biggest regret.

TJ Perenara of the All Blacks leads the haka ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between England and New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama on October 26, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. © Getty Images TJ Perenara of the All Blacks leads the haka ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between England and New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama on October 26, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.

- The wedge -

The first known counter-challenge to the haka was by Ireland in 1989 when they formed a V-shaped wedge and moved slowly towards the All Blacks until their captain Willie Anderson was nose-to-nose with his opposite number.

Words were exchanged after the haka was finished, whereupon Anderson leapt into the air and whipped up a packed Lansdowne Road crowd to a frenzy. To little avail: New Zealand won 23-6.

The England team face The Haka during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between England and New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama on October 26, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. © Getty Images The England team face The Haka during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between England and New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama on October 26, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.

- World Cup wedge -

France added extra spice to the 2011 World Cup final in Auckland when they advanced -- slightly haphazardly -- towards the All Blacks during the haka.

The move cost France a fine of 2,500 pounds and prompted officials to lay down regulations separating the two teams during the haka. In the end, France also lost the game 8-7.

New Zealand players perform the haka before the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between England and New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama on October 26, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. © Getty Images New Zealand players perform the haka before the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between England and New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama on October 26, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.

- Cockerill's clash -

The closest a haka challenge has come to blows was in 1997 when combustible English hooker Richard Cockerill advanced right into the face of opposite number Norm Hewitt, chuntering away throughout the dance.

The pair clashed heads and had to be separated by England captain Martin Johnson, who pushed Hewitt away as the English went back to receive the kick-off.

New Zealand players perform the Haka before the game during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between England and New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama on October 26, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. © Getty Images New Zealand players perform the Haka before the game during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Semi-Final match between England and New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama on October 26, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.

- Start yours early -

In the 2003 World Cup, Tonga upstaged the haka by performing their "Sipi Tau" war dance simultaneously, to the delight of the crowd in Brisbane.

The Tongans were supposed to wait until the haka was complete before starting their response but no sooner had the All Blacks uttered their "ka mate", they spontaneously launched into their own dance.


Jonny Wilkinson reckons England's current crop are even better than the heroes of 2003... so how do Eddie Jones' men match up to those of Sir Clive Woodward in our combined XV? .
England have the chance to emulate the heroes of 2003 this weekend when they go toe-to-toe with South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final. But how do the two sides compare?(Pictured) Jonathan Joseph of England takes on AJ MacGinty of U.S. during a Group C game at Kobe Misaki Stadium in Kobe, Japan, on Sept. 26.

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