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Former All Black Says He "Cringed" At "Disrespectful" Haka Against Ireland In Chicago

Former All Black Says He "Cringed" At "Disrespectful" Haka Against Ireland In Chicago
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Writing on the ESPN Scrum website today, former New Zealand international prop Craig Dowd has criticised New Zealand for their choice of haka against Ireland at Soldier Field, calling it "disrespectful". In memory of the late Anthony Foley, Ireland faced the All Black ritual in a figure 8.

Dowd finds fault with the choice of haka performed by the World Champions, rather than the performance of a ritual.

The haka performed on Saturday was the 'Kapa O Pango', whereas Dowd believes a more fitting choice would have been the 'Ka Mate' haka. Dowd elucidates the differences between both dances in the piece. The Ka Mate haka is usually used to honour a warrior, and Dowd believes it very different to the more "aggressive challenge" of the Kapa O Pango, which closer resembles a battle cry.

Given the tragic loss of Anthony Foley, Dowd believes that the choice of dance was an error on New Zealand's part:

I have to say I watched the haka and cringed. 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.

Elsewhere in the same piece, Dowd put forward his thesis as to why Ireland won out. An acknowledgement of our limitations was central, to Dowd:

From that moment after the haka, the Irish normally spill over the top, the adrenaline gets to them and they do something stupid. It's almost like they had a composure about them this time and normally you just don't see that in an Irish team. As a result, I wonder if part of their strategy was to slow the game down.

It was a case of 'the All Blacks are fitter than us', there were injuries all the time. Every opportunity they had the game stopped and things were slowed down and they went at their pace. And they dictated that and took away that whole fitness element around the All Blacks.

You can read the full piece here.

See Also: Warren Gatland Talks About Possibility Of Bringing Joe Schmidt Into The Lions Fold

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