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Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Top 5 Best Haka Responses ever!

This week's Top 5 from Rugby HQ is one of the best, a classic that'll certainly fire up all of those rugby fans that really want to see the mighty All Blacks beaten. They'll take a small victory in any way possible, which in the past has meant gettting one up on the Haka, at least.

If New Zealand beat Australia on Saturday then the All Blacks will go 18 wins in a row, breaking a record that they and South Africa jointly hold. The Wallabies are in their way, hoping to pick up their first Bledisloe Cup win in ten years.

This clip is less about that rivalry and more about what various teams have done over the years to attempt to disrupt the dominant force that is the All Blacks. It's funny to watch now, even if at the time a lot of these incidents caused quite an uproar.

Posted at 2:15 pm | 49 comments

France challenge the Haka in 2011 Rugby World Cup final

Richard Cockerill stands up to the Haka in 1997

Why New Zealand do the Haka

Munster vs the All Blacks - Haka and tries

France stand up to the Haka - RWC 2007

Posted in See it to Believe it, Top 5 compilations

Viewing 49 comments

WelshOsprey August 14, 2014 4:02 pm

Nothing comes close to the 07 world cup France v New Zealand haka for me and it's not even there!

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Eddie-g August 14, 2014 5:37 pm

Blimey, at least two classics that somehow didn't make the cut.

The 2007 France-NZ rwc game has already been mentioned. Even more memorable was in 91, Campo practising his kicking instead of facing the haka. Arguably that was the ultimate insult.

And I'd like to offer an honorable mention for the Aussie "Handbag Haka" video, which might have been the best wind-up in the history of mankind. Wasn't exactly a response, but in terms of stink created, it was unreal.

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The Yank August 14, 2014 6:50 pm

dude what about the tonga response in the world cup back in the day, EPIC

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Ando August 14, 2014 10:17 pm

I might be wrong, but didn't Campo once run around practicing his chip kicks while the AB's were on halfway doing the haka?

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finedisregard August 15, 2014 12:48 am

Yes, and that's the best thing to do. New Zealanders are very precious about their little cultural misappropriation. You can't walk towards them, you can't ignore them, you can't linger there after, you can't practice chip kicks, etc. You must stand there and be intimidated.

You get a national anthem, that's it.

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Eddie-g August 15, 2014 10:24 am

Even worse than the NZ preciousness is the way the IRB goes in to bat for them. France getting fined for the 2011 rwc response? FFS.

For the record, I like the haka, and I like it as a tradition. But protecting it as something sacrosanct is pathetic, and getting all butthurt because of a particular response to the haka seems completely at odds with what it's all about.

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DanKnapp August 15, 2014 5:30 pm

I actually don't think the ABs are too bad about it. The Maori members of the team certainly tend not to be that bad. The IRB doesn't seem to be able to balance their response, but I don't blame the ABs.

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Eddie-g August 15, 2014 7:31 pm

I can see how my comment could be seen as a broad-brush swipe at all New Zealanders, obviously not all are precious about the haka; neither are all the ABs.

But the Nonu drivel below in DrG's post below speaks for itself, and the handbag haka nonsense was utterly bonkers. The assistant freaking coach called it "Insensitive to Maori and disrespectful of the All Blacks"; in a just world, Tana Umaga would have bashed him over the head with a handbag just for being such a humorless dork.

I agree many/most kiwis are cool about the haka, but a lot aren't - and unfortunately the IRB listens to the latter.

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kadova August 17, 2014 10:58 pm

Steve Hansen requested the IRB not to fine France for that in 2011....they did not listen to him...

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Canadian content August 14, 2014 11:41 pm

Agreed with above chabals sneer in 07 was classic and the tonga simultaneous one was brilliant

Btw GO CANADA GO Sunday at the wrwc!

Hi litres please PR!

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stroudos August 15, 2014 7:53 am

Good fun as always but I have some issues with the list.

I watched the countdown simply assuming that Richard Cockerill's confrontation with Norm Hewitt would of course be #1 - no question. To not even make the list is bizarre...
http://www.rugbydump.com/2008/12/770/richard-cockerill-stands-up-to-the-haka-in-1997

Other notable omissions as others have pointed out - Chabal showing how he would eat the ABs for his dinner in 2007; Campese treating the whole thing with contempt in 1991 and the Tonga sipi tau in 2011.

#3 is the most pathetic thing I've ever seen in the game of rugby. I thought at the time this could be the end of the Haka in Rugby, as the degree of preciousness had clearly gone off the scale.

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DrG August 15, 2014 11:33 am

I really do like to see the Haka but like others above, I think some; not all I'm sure, players seem to get a little too precious...

To break it down (and yes, forgive me, I used wikipedia for this info):
"A haka (plural is the same as singular: haka) is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the M?ori people of New Zealand"

So it's a war cry, dance or challenge... Well, I'd imagine the most applicable definition for a rugby match would be somewhere close to war cry and challenge, bearing in mind it's done before the match. So if someone lays down a challenge, or is producing some sort of war cry towards you, then surely they'd be expecting a response?

Then Nonu kicks up a fuss:

"What the Welsh did wound us up," he said. "They were probably told by (Wales coach) Warren Gatland to stand there and wait until we leave. But it was really hard. The Haka is a war dance. If you're going to stand there like that then in the past people would have charged, but it's a rugby match and you can't do that. People back home will have been hurt by what they decided to do. Standing in the way like they did is asking for a fight. My blood pressure was pretty high but then I regained my composure. I was a bit upset about it. If I was facing the Haka I'd respect it. The Haka is the Haka, after that it's game time."

So he basically says the Haka is a war dance, but you cannot front up to it, because it makes us want to run over and fight??? Well, as much as I love the Haka, if you cannot take it into context i.e. you're challenging the opposition to 'war' through the game of rugby, then I suppose it has no place in the game...

Have your cake and eat it, springs to mind.

War dance for rugby war, then it should be fronted (if the oppo wants too).
War dance for WAR - then after is a rugby game, then it shouldn't be allowed..

Again, I love to see the Haka and it's variations, I'd hate to see it gone, but it cannot be 'untouchable'!

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10stonenumber10 August 15, 2014 11:44 am

The Haka (if likened to an extreme example) reminds me of clips of police officers in the USA.

They can stand over the 'criminal', shout and scream at them, goad them to hit them, and if they move so much as a muscle towards the officer, they are immediately bundled upon, tazered, pepper spray'd, or shot for 'talking back'

Or in boxing terms, when touching gloves in the centre of the ring, the Haka seems like a punch thrown between that and the bell for the first round.

If it is a challenge, allow a response.

I have the utmost respect for the traditions of NZ and the Haka, but common sense must prevail.

Big men shouting and doing a war dance offended by people staring at them? Something doesn't add up. Back in the day in battle it would have been a spear or an arrow flying back towards you, not a dirty look from Chabal.

There is no greater spectacle in world rugby than NZ, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, PNG, Cook Islands etc. facing off against each other before the whistle. Northern Hemisphere teams may not have a war dance to respond with (I don't think Morris Dancing carries much clout), but we should be able to respond. As long as we're not burning flags, photoshopping handbags or insulting the traditions, what's wrong with having a go back?

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ronjer78 August 15, 2014 12:01 pm

Bla bla bla accept the challenge like a man or don't, irb make the rules not the all blacks, I loved seeing teams advancing or standing their ground (like Wales once did, 2 very long min of awesome! ) check out some high school haka footage, that's how it should be done!

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DrG August 15, 2014 9:37 pm

Well, yes the IRB do set the laws, but it takes an All Black player; perhaps one with a missing eyebrow to step up and say "yeh we lay down a challenge and the ____ team picked it up! Great game, great atmosphere etc" instead of crying and bitching...

He was hurt and upset... Come on...

Imagine hundreds of years ago a battle scarred Maori returning home after winning battle and saying to his wife:
"It was so horrible, I don't think I can ever go out again"
"Why my dear?"
"Well, me and Tana and Ma'a, oh..by the way, tell their wives that they're both dead... anyway, we did the Haka and the other lot just STOOD there and LOOKED at us, it was horrible, I'm so upset and disrespected"

The Kapa O Pango has/had a throat slitting gesture... I'm sure one could take far more offence to that being aimed at them than someone who just stands there looking...

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im August 15, 2014 12:12 pm

if a player of the opposite team told a NZ player that he was going to spear tackle then he would get in a spot of bother with the IRB. Yet it is ok for the whole of the NZ team to do a dance about killing the other team.

I'm hope that it does get banned at some point. When I go to a match I am there to watch the rugby. Not the haka or the half time entertainment.

Also, the haka looks quite good on tv, but its not particularly impressive when you are actually at a game. You can see all the cameras filming it and can tell that it is completly set up for TV. The IRB put up with it because it is part of the "All Blacks" brand and makes them money

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10stonenumber10 August 15, 2014 12:43 pm

Ireland are allowed to sing "Ireland's call", NZ and the pacific islands do a wardance.

The Kapo O Pango is the most 'aggressive', saved for their 'biggest matches'. If you're deemed unworthy of having someone mimic slitting your throat, you just get the bog standard Ka Mate.

I think the English equivalent would be a skinhead in an "admiral" sponsored football shirt, pint in one hand, Richmond SuperKing in the other, giving it the full Green Street treatment.

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ken August 15, 2014 1:24 pm

two best of all time,

1) Munster v NZ- blood curdling. Crowd went nuts for munster haka, and totaslly silent for NZ- ignored them.
2) David Campezi in Australia v All Blacks 1991 world cup. Ignored them completely and warmed up at end of pitch, then massacred them on the pitch- classic

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kadova August 17, 2014 11:00 pm

I do not like ignoring the Haka, but at least Campese answered rightly on the pitch.

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Herman Munster August 20, 2014 12:31 am

Sorry dude, you're incorrect. The crowd went silent for the NZ Haka out of respect, when they finished they went nuts, watch it again. In Thomond Park, silence is a mark of respect. Watch any opposition kicker when he's lining up.

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Guest August 15, 2014 1:26 pm

Sounds like you're the one getting all butthurt.
In this instance its a challenge, respond in kind if you like, or dont, no one forces you to stand up and watch.

Finedisregard, you can ignore them, some teams do, lingering there makes no sense anyways, you can practice chip kicks and yes some people will get offended, just like if someone was to yell and scream during your precious national anthem.

If you stand and take the Haka, that is the greatest sign of respect for the challenge laid down

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DrG August 16, 2014 12:02 pm

"If you stand and take the Haka, that is the greatest sign of respect for the challenge laid down"

Well, not really, one of my (many) posts above highlights comments by Ma'a Nonu, not 100% sure but I'm pretty sure he is a genuine bona fide Maori... and he seems to think standing up to it is disrespectful..

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finedisregard August 16, 2014 1:31 pm

His ethnic background is Samoan.

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DrG August 16, 2014 2:39 pm

So he's not a Maori?

...if he isn't even a Maori then what is his bitching all about?

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Canadian content August 17, 2014 2:59 pm

My guess is because it would be difficult for a Maori to do so, because they'd be accused of being hypocritical.

But I do agree with most of the sentiment here that it is foolish to think that you should just stand there, take it and the subsequent defeat.

I would have considered it an honor, if I had ever had the privilege. I think it would have gotten me just as charged up as anyone performing it.

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rex munday August 15, 2014 3:09 pm

They're missing the best: Sam Scott-Young winking and blowing kisses at them in about 1990/1991.

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katman August 15, 2014 9:29 pm

I feel this intimidating ritual is tantamount to assault and should definitely be outlawed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdI0g3rENcQ


View Video

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Swing August 15, 2014 9:30 pm

When I started playing senior rugby it was semi-pro at best and there were quite a few players about who were there because they were genuinely hard men but couldn't play rugby for toffee. Slightly unstable and scary coz we didn't have the big screen to watch our every moves. Anyone remember Leighton Gerrard? When we faced the Haka back then it really had an effect on players like that and definitely got in their heads but as the game changed it became less so.
The last time I had the honour of facing it (and it is honour and should exist and should be respected... but not necessarily protected) players had progressed so far, mentally as well as physically, they were so focused on their games it served as a distraction as best. Hell, you could light some of their boots on fire and they wouldn't budge an inch. It's more for the spectators than the oppos these days

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Guest August 16, 2014 4:50 am

I prefer union to league, but I still think the best response and confrontation comes from the 2008 Rugby League Final. Notice how the Kiwis went to find opposing players to match up against when the Aussies advanced on them? I haven't read any reports or news articles about this incident after it happened, but my feeling is that it was certainly fine from both ends. Just a great challenge thrown down and accepted to start the match.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D3gzlOZdeI




View Video

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Canadian content August 17, 2014 3:04 pm

Israel looked like he was bored, he even glances away lol. I liked it though, and the kiwis didn't stand around afterwards all pissy about it either. They seemed to accept, ok, we are challenging you, you are stepping up to it, fair play

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DrG August 16, 2014 12:12 pm

I personally and perhaps incorrectly, view the Haka as part of the game, in a traditional sense, it is something done before each NZ game and that part I love, just the same as the Samoan and Tongan counterparts. As someone mentioned Irelands Call is the song the Irish team (and everyone else) sing before each of their games, THESE my friends, are; as I said, part of the game. I think it's a wonderful part that also shows the 'other side' of the game, rather than literally picking up the egg and running. They're what make each of the teams unique aside from their National anthems.

Of course I'd imagine those that have teams that don't have any of these traditions find them a bore and a waste of time - Perhaps there is also a taint of jealousy that their team doesn't have anything in particular to perform back. But lets face it, even teams like England that have the worst national anthem known to man still have a crowd that sings 'swing low' and drowns out the AB's Haka..

But I am sure many of you believe the same as Mr Nonu:
"The haka is the haka, then afterwards there is the game"

If everyone truly believes this, then I suppose it will sadly and in theory SHOULD be the end of the ALL these traditions: Irelands Call, The Sipi Tau, Siva Tau, Cibi etc...

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finedisregard August 16, 2014 1:45 pm

Ireland's Call is a compromise because Irish Rugby is made up of players from two countries, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland that each have different anthems. God Save The Queen wouldn't go over well in Croke Park.

I think the haka is cool, but it would be cooler if they only did it for big games. Also they should let teams react in whichever way they choose. Remember, up until Buck Shelford it was kind of a joke.

Still watching caucasian Ali Williams bug out his eyes and stick out his tongue is tantamount to a white American put on warpaint and headdress whoo whoo whooing around a campfire Washington Redskins style. Or Jean de Villiers doing a Xhosa dance.

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DrG August 16, 2014 2:31 pm

HAHAHA at your last paragraph!

I know Irelands call is not quite the same, but by the same token it doesn't 'need' to be sung anymore than the haka NEEDS to be performed, but you agree surely that just because it is not within the 80minutes play of the game it is still PART of the game?

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finedisregard August 17, 2014 12:46 pm

Sure! Just like the guys having dinner or some beers after a game. Definitely more to rugby than 80 minutes.

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munster_jimmy August 16, 2014 2:44 pm

New Zealand behave like little bitches if the haka and the response isn't as they want it. And now kiwis are saying that it's not New Zealand but the IRB that is enforcing this. What a load of crap.
Used to enjoy the haka but so over it now. The sooner they get rid of it the better!

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Isaak August 17, 2014 12:39 am

A bit of ignorance in here about the haka (as usual). It's not a dance about killing people as someone mentioned above, maybe you should read the translation and since when did Ma'a Nonu speak for the rest of NZ? 99% of NZers love it when the haka is challenged, ask any Maori and they will tell you the same thing, Nonu isn't even Maori so i still dont know why he moaned about it...

I think the Haka should only be performed in NZ.

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DrG August 17, 2014 10:21 am

When did Ma'a speak for the rest of NZ?

When the rest of NZ didn't speak out against Ma'a... I get everyone wants to back their own team/player etc, but why didn't King Maori stand up and say "yeh in the ancestral times the Welsh teams heads would have been used as footballs, but in these modern times I thought the way they stood up to the Haka showed immense 'bravery' and was pretty cool" ...(I pick out Wales because that's the team Mr Nonu got upset about)...

Interesting you feel it should only be performed in NZ when in the past it was only ever performed overseas :/

Ka t? te Ihiihi Stand up to the fear
Ka t? te Wanawana Stand up to the terror
Ki runga ki te rangi, To the sky above,!

Or turn away and don't face it...

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Isaak August 18, 2014 5:01 am

Hang on let me get my phone book out so i can ring every single person in NZ to apologize for Nonu lol


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DrG August 18, 2014 9:45 am

Good man, I'd appreciate that. But honestly though, there needs to be more of a public announcement as to what is acceptable by the majority of kiwis (or more importantly Maori's)... I mean we've seen the Sipi Tau being performed back to the All Blacks during the Haka, so surely that is just as 'aggressive' or at least as traditionally aggressive than standing there.

Contrary to most of my comments, I don't tend to care so much what Nonu is on about, in the sense that as you've said, it appears most of the Kiwi's thought it was a way of saying 'challenge accepted'.. and lets face it, Wales got beaten then anyway. I just found it interesting that someone could take such offence over something like that but not get highlighted as the minority on the subject.

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hmmm August 17, 2014 1:15 pm

Ive had only been playing a a year by the 07 world cup and wasn't chabbal the real reason you cant pass half way now during the Haka on the international stage? I know there have been a few fights afterwards in smaller venues but still the greatest response ever. Capt caveman

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Fighting Irish August 17, 2014 4:28 pm

It does not take much for New Zealanders to break out in a haka these days.

You see the haka at funerals, at sleazy boxing tournaments, at the rugby, at formal welcomes and a whole host of other activities.

Those of us bored stiff with the whole exercise noted that in the recent World U20 competition in Italy, the young New Zealand team actually pranced and pratted about for ages before it all actually began, with one player wandering in and out of the ranks roaring as if in pain, as if waiting for night to fall.

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Reality August 18, 2014 10:01 am

I have to agree that it's gotten very tiresome. If the haka was something that was done before each professional international match at home in New Zealand, then fair enough; I could accept that.

But when every rugby match, soccer match, game of tennis, and formal welcome starts with a haka, the thing just becomes annoying. Seeing people 'welcomed' in New Zealand during the World Cup by a special haka was just ridiculous. Personally, I'd probably just yawn uncontrollably if I was facing it, or I'd just laugh at Caucasians like Ali Williams sticking his tongue out and shouting in a language he doesn't speak.

In any case, if you compare the tame haka used in the old days to the one the All Blacks use now, it shows that it's no longer about traditional dances, and now it's simply a way to get a psychological advantage over your opponent before the match starts by working yourself into a frenzy and screaming blue murder at your opponent while he remains immobile for fear of being fined or branded disrespectful of other cultures.

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DrG August 18, 2014 4:52 pm

I've read that the Haka was traditionally done before each away game rather than home game... but THEN I've also read that apparently it was a requirement before the game as a form of pre game entertainment and that the Maori's hated doing it Whether that is bull I don't know.

I have no problem with Caucasians doing the haka as 'seat fillers' as such, but when you see Umaga in the first ever Kapa O Pango performed he looks brilliant, 'the real McCoy'.. If you stuck a Ali Williams in there in Umagas stead, he'd look like a right twit.

I think before judging whether the haka has past it's sell by date, it might be worth seeing how the smaller nations such as the Tongans, Fijians, Samoans etc carry our their versions of the haka. Do they perform them for welcoming parties? etc..

I enjoy the spectacle that is the Haka when performed by someone who looks like they've got some decent ancestral history going on there, as long as they expect and respect the fact that by having the privilege to perform it, they also rightly open the doors to a reaction. (Well them and the IRB!)

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finedisregard August 18, 2014 10:24 pm

Sorry pal but Umaga is another one that is 100% Samoan too! Same as Sonny Bill, Jerry Collins, Kevin Mealamu, Mils, Iceman, etc…No more Maori than Shane Williams is.

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DrG August 18, 2014 10:55 pm

I actually knew that one haha.. but what I meant was, there is far more weight when a pacific islander is doing what is; in general terms, a tradition that can be put into the 'pacific islands' category...

Ali Williams (heaven forbid Shane Williams ever does the haka with the same bug eyed, tongue wagging manoeuvres), is a white guy (I mean it doesn't get a whole lot whiter before you end up in the Albino section) and he is there acting as if his forefathers were on the winning side of the Boyd massacre..

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DrG August 18, 2014 11:05 pm

Sorry, just to add, it's great that he has embraced the culture of the country he was born into. But as you mentioned above, it's...well..odd..

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Colombes August 18, 2014 11:46 am

I respect the haka
and i don't think there is one specifical way to answer it


But the French answer in 2007 was the best one, just pure tense eyes-agression by Dusautoir and Chabal

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