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Defeating The All Blacks Started With Defeating The Haka

Defeating The All Blacks Started With Defeating The Haka
Donny Mahoney
By Donny Mahoney
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How do you defeat the haka? So much of New Zealand's psychological superiority comes from the mesmeric power of that war dance. Ireland have tried to counter it in the past, with varying degrees of success.

In order to beat the All Blacks, Ireland had to learn from Munster. In 2008, Munster proved that maybe the only to beat the haka is to do your own haka.

Before every game against the All Blacks, the Ireland captain will be asked about countering the haka. Rory Best was asked this week about it. He was respectful as ever.

Because there have been a few incidents they don't allow you to go past the 10-metre line anyway," said Best.

"So we'll just line up and I think everyone will deal with it in their own way.

But Best was keeping his cards close to his chest, because Ireland did have a plan. Rather than stand in a line, they would honour the memory of Anthony Foley and make a number 8. The positioning of the players in that 8 is very important. The four Munster players who started the game made up the left side of that 8, which is the side facing the All Blacks haka.


Stander, Ryan, Zebo, Murray. The entire Ireland team were amazing against the All Blacks but the Munster players were noticeably immense. Murray played a game for all time. Zebo played his best game ever for Ireland. Ryan was a rock, Stander was Stander, one of the best backrows on earth.

Perhaps this is how Ireland should stand for every haka from now on. We should certainly be in figure eight in two weeks time.


After trying so many different ways to beat the All Blacks over the years, Ireland dug in yesterday and managed to beat the All Blacks, in part, by doing it the Munster way. It started with the haka.


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