Sunday 25 June 2017

Fearsome haka doesn't compare to craic of a ceili

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

THE fearsome haka simply doesn't compare to an old-style ceili.

All Blacks heavyweight Jerome Kaino (27) was left mopping beads of sweat off his brow after he tried out a bit of Irish dancing ahead of this weekend's clash against Ireland in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

"There is no comparison, this is a lot harder than doing the haka," the New Zealand rugby flanker confessed. It was left to Lori Hall, who teaches at the Dance Hall Academy in Dublin's Shankill, to put him through his paces yesterday in the popular tourist haunt, Johnnie Fox's pub, in the Dublin mountains.

Ms Hall (27), who performs with a troop of dancers each week at the pub, yesterday joked they had ruled out the usual one-two-three and stuck to the steps of a traditional reel for fear the stage floor might cave under the three All Blacks tough men.

Kaino, Neemia Tialata and Alby Mathewson were up for a bit of fun as they learnt the steps.

They were being followed by television cameras, so fans can follow their antics on the website www.backingblack.co.nz during their five weeks' touring.

"It's good there is a good balance; we work hard when we are on field and in training.

"It is great to experience different cultures, delve into the Irish culture, and I'm lucky enough to be a part of it. It is awesome," Kaino said.

The 6ft4in flanker said he was looking forward to the game against Ireland on Saturday night in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

"I'm sure (the Irish) are going to pick a really strong squad and we are not taking much out of the Samoa game; it was quite messy," he added, referring to Ireland's 20-10 victory over Samoa. "We know the Irish are a lot stronger. Especially after the game we played in New Zealand earlier on in the year, the Irish are definitely going to want to get one back ."

This will be the All Blacks' fourth test match in a tour in which they have already beaten Scotland 49-3 in Edinburgh.

Irish Independent

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