Chicago haka deemed "disrespectful" by former All Blacks prop

Craig Dowd said the war dance did not fit the tone of the pre-match atmosphere

BY Daniel Kelly 12:32 Wednesday 9 November 2016, 12:32 9 Nov 2016

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Former New Zealand prop Craig Dowd has said the All Blacks haka was "disrespectful" towards Ireland ahead of last weekend's match in Chicago.

As is tradition with the back-to-back World champions, New Zealand performed haka, but it was the Kapa O Pango version that annoyed Dowd. Including a throat-slitting gesture, the Kapa is seen as the most provocative version of the war dance.

"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", Dowd wrote in his column for ESPN.

"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."

Speaking after the win, Ireland captain Rory Best said the idea of Ireland's response to the Haka, "was our way as a national team to show a mark of respect to [Anthony Foley] and his family."

"It was something that we'd talked about with management with the players," Best explained. "A lot has been made of the really sad news that Munster got a few weeks ago, and it it was the national team's first time together since his passing. We just felt it was the right thing to do, and to put the Munster boys at the front of that."

Dowd, a former Wasps prop added, that Ireland deserved the 40-29 win, concluding "it was their day."

The two teams meet again later this month in the Aviva Stadium, with New Zealand, looking to continue their unbeaten run against Ireland on Irish soil. In 16 games in Dublin, the All Blacks have won 15 times and drawing only once. That game finished 10-10 in 1973. 


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