New Zealand: All Blacks' Haka covered in chants, with Irish players responding

New Zealand: All Blacks' Haka covered in chants, with Irish players responding

Irish fans flocked to the Stade de France on Saturday evening for the 2023 Rugby World Cup quarter-final between Ireland and New Zealand. The All Blacks' haka, Kapa o Pango, was widely covered by the Greens' songs and chants.

It's hard to hear Aaron Smith perform the haka on Saturday at the Stade de France, ahead of the heated Rugby World Cup quarter-final between New Zealand and Ireland. The All Blacks have sensibly chosen to practice Kapa o Pango, the most difficult form of the haka, which the New Zealanders performed, for example, before their opening match against a French XV.

>>> Live text of the Ireland-New Zealand match

The Irish Eight

Tradition dictates that the stadium be immersed in silence to listen to the haka. This was not true at all. Irish songs and shouts from the stands pretty much covered the moment. Even the microphones didn't allow us to hear it in full on the TV screen.

Against the New Zealanders, the Irish players positioned themselves at number eight: like a little myth. The same draw was made during a match between the two teams in 2016, in honor of Anthony Foley, the famous Irish number eight who died a few days ago. On that day the Clover XV beat the All Blacks for the first time in their history.

A moment of slightly awkward silence

Before that, the minute of silence was not entirely respectful either, spoiled by some fans' shouts – without being too loud. This moment of reflection was dedicated to the victims of the terrible events in Israel and Gaza, as well as to the university professor who was killed on Friday in Arras.

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