Sunday 20 August 2017

'It was disrespectful: Ex-All Black not happy with 'aggressive' haka in response to Ireland's Anthony Foley tribute

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

One former All Blacks star has hit out at the team's choice of haka before last Saturday's game at Soldier Field, branding it 'disrespectful'.

Ireland beat New Zealand for the first time ever after a pulsating 40-29 victory in Chicago, but there was an equally memorable moment before the match.

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Ireland opted to face down New Zealand's haka in a figure of eight, paying tribute to the Munster and Ireland legend Anthony Foley, who tragically passed away last month.

Lining up across from Joe Schmidt's men, the All Blacks opted for the war cry of Kapa O Pango rather than the Ka Mate haka that they traditionally perform pre-match.

Prop Craig Dowd, who started on the All Blacks team that made the World Cup final in 1995, addressed the choice of haka in a column on ESPN.co.uk.

Dowd thought the 'aggressive' haka was disrespectful to the Irish team and says he thought it was a case of the team 'not doing their homework' on what Ireland would do before the match.

"I have to say I watched the haka and cringed," Dowd said.

"Someone didn't do their homework in the All Blacks camp. Knowing a little bit about the Irish mentality and having had a 64-Test cap veteran and ex-Munster coach Anthony Foley die recently, with all the players wearing black armbands and having a moment's silence for him before the game, and knowing what that meant to the Irish team and the public, I thought pulling out the Kapa O Pango haka was disrespectful.

"I've been to funerals and you do the Ka Mate haka to honour a warrior and it is different to doing the battle cry, or war cry, of Kapa O Pango which is a more aggressive challenge."

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