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Thursday, October 11, 2007

France stand up to the Haka

So where did it all go wrong for the All Blacks in their crunch Quarter Final encounter with the French on the weekend?

It started with the toss of a coin to decide who would wear the alternate kit. New Zealand lost it, and due to France's extremely dark blue kit that is very similar to the traditional All Black kit (coincidence?), the favourites were forced to wear their pajama grey jerseys with black shorts.

Most players would tell you it didn't phase them, but deep down you can be sure they felt just a bit awkward. After all, the foundation of All Black dominance, intimidation and history is based on that famous black jersey.

With the formalities out the way and kick off seconds away, France lined up to accept the Haka. But instead of standing in their own half, normally on the 10m line (or if you're Italian, huddled in a circle hoping it would just go away!), France stood firmly on the half way line, inches away from their New Zealand counterparts.

The look on some of the All Blacks' faces was priceless, and you could see they were just a little put out.

The confrontation was classic, with a large amount of eyeballing and stare downs, even after they'd finished. In my opinion, France certainly got the most out of the traditional challenge.

They knew that if they stood a chance against the All Blacks they'd have to stand up to them from the beginning and not be intimidated.

"We talked about it three days ago," France captain Raphael Ibanez told a press conference.
"It was not a provocation but we wanted to show them that we are proud.

"We feel a great respect for the New Zealanders but today the courage and pride of this team made the difference."

And a difference it surely made, with the French sensationally knocking the tournament favourites out and sending Paris into raptures.

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  • what was ali willams doing ( No# 4 i think )

    maybe he expected the rest of the all blacks to walk up with him?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 10:57 am  

  • Hahaha, so great... look at Chabal... he got a thousand of Haka most intimidating in his eyes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 12:48 pm  

  • i liked heymans giving a wink as well

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 12:54 pm  

  • A buddy told me the English were the first to do this to the All Blacks, is this true? I liked this though. Wish the stair down was a bit longer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 1:02 pm  

  • Chabal rulessssss!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 1:04 pm  

  • Ali Williams went there to put his helmet down. I think he was not expecting anything else.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 1:12 pm  

  • allez Sebastien!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 1:16 pm  

  • That's what I want to see more of...I personally think the most respectful thing you can do to a challenge like a haka is stand up accept it, and challenge it back. The Irish did it as well, a while ago (late 80s). My favourite though was in 97 (I think) where Richard Cockerill squared up to the NZ hooker nose to nose!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 2:37 pm  

  • they got pretty close there, i assume it was a front row player for france that gave a funny look to NZ number 8 lol, not taking that stuff, and chabal vs kelleher.....looool only 1 outcome of that!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 3:37 pm  

  • The first who did it was Eric Champ with France vs All Blacks at Nantes, France, for a Test Match. He was alone, getting out the french 10m line, and slowly advanced to the All Blacks. During the final of the RWC 87, he did again, some players followed him but didn't get closer than the Test at Nantes.

    By Anonymous French Doctor, at October 11, 2007 4:54 pm  

  • ali williams with the tongue again....what a loser he really needs to just do it and not act over the top.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 5:42 pm  

  • It does show it in this video to well but Byron Kelleher was acting worse than Williams, still really intense Haka, one of the best I've seen

    By Anonymous Sean, at October 11, 2007 6:26 pm  

  • I wonder if Chabals training in the week before a match like that just consists of the French team locking him up in a cage, poking him with sticks, saying insulting things to him, feeding him only spicy meals, and then just releasing him on match day. One of the most intimidating personalities on a rugby pitch since Lomu. I hope Lewsey gets a big hit on him on Saturday. Sackey to score the winner for England.
    Allez le Rosbifs!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 7:10 pm  

  • how is sticking your tongue out intimidating? he just looks stupid lol. As for the haka i thought it was pretty rubbish, not very intimidating either. It has lost its appeal throughout the world cup, like they dont care.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2007 7:27 pm  

  • Ali Williams does look pretty dumb. But Kelleher looks like a real moron. Some of those guys go way over the top and the haka looks comical instead of fierce.

    By Anonymous aaron, at October 11, 2007 7:59 pm  

  • they look fuckin stupid dancing around

    By Anonymous vive les bleus, at October 11, 2007 9:57 pm  

  • haha, that mug williams walks up , shits a brick when he sees the frogs and gets back to his under-achieving mates. idiots.

    By Anonymous new zealand? it's just a provincial backwater that can't play rugby!, at October 11, 2007 10:00 pm  

  • that was good, cockerills was better, be nice to see that up hee, hint hint! he squarred up good and proper, nose to nose, no fear, just like chabal. and obviously pretty effective! good effort

    By Anonymous Joe, at October 11, 2007 10:54 pm  

  • I think it was a good ploy by the French and I was a little annoyed that the AB's didn't stand up as much to them. I would have kept on advancing until I was face to face with them - thats just me though. Isaia Toeava dipped his eyes which in my honest opinion illustrates the shyness and lack of aggression in the All Black centres nature. I hope he finds some Tana Umaga balls before the next World Cup otherwise he will be a notable bystander!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2007 1:12 am  

  • lmao look what marty does to so'oialo at the end

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2007 2:04 am  

  • LOL yeh i know, ive been watching this video all afternoon, i keep alternating, watch chabal scare the shit out of Kelleher or watch so'oialo get a face pulled at him!!! it was an awesome match im glad the frogs clobbered the darkness!.....(who happend to be wearing grey...i hasten to add)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2007 2:21 am  

  • Awesome thing to see.

    The French dude 1-2 to the left of Captain Caveman...
    he gave the eye bug as good, if not better than any AB on the day.

    But yes, Cockerill's is one for the ages. If anything for the fact that he stepped forward alone.

    By Anonymous Cheyanquí, at October 13, 2007 2:31 am  

  • And now france is gone.....well i guess one thing is their ego's wont get blown out of proportion this year!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2007 2:39 am  

  • Classic....the All Blacks were not def expecting that one...lol

    By Blogger Don, at October 14, 2007 9:45 am  

  • it's the first time France has stood up to anything.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2007 2:39 am  

  • can someone post a vid of sebastian chabal getting enhialated in the argentina game? and then the other player getting yellow carded (wrongly as you will see if someone posts it). thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 20, 2007 9:09 am  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 25, 2007 1:38 am  

  • Sorry to all the Blacks out there, but i REALLY prefer your old Haka...i think the new one has lost its...i dunno, impact. and yeah players like Ali williams make it look dumb. the old haka of the 90's? ( i think) was awesome. led by better men too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 29, 2007 10:12 am  

  • ehe, ali williams is scared to death. the look on dominici's face creaps him.
    and david marty's smile at the end is great

    By Anonymous Tom, at November 08, 2007 6:06 pm  

  • when the camera is over the french shoulder, Rokocoko looks like he is pushign out a turd the morning after a vindaloo...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 10, 2007 1:17 am  

  • I just wanted the french to start doing the can-can, twould have been jokes

    By Anonymous Tom, at November 26, 2007 6:09 pm  

  • In response to what your friend told you about the English, I believe the Irish were the first to stand up so close to the All Blacks during the haka, but then again I'm not a hundred percent sure

    By Anonymous Krusty, at December 07, 2007 3:37 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 05, 2008 12:28 pm  

  • Easily one of the moments of the World Cup. Still gives me goosebumps when i watch it. Awesome.

    By Anonymous AbbyNo7, at January 07, 2008 11:54 pm  

  • Chabal is awesome thats why i got long hair and a beard just to look like him and be a super sub.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 09, 2008 10:28 pm  

  • sorry to tell you guys, but you are just a bunch of losers that wish to be part of the NZ team! you wish you could be there!
    you are disgusting...all of you!

    By Anonymous BBD, at February 09, 2008 1:26 pm  

  • Chabal is shit :S

    It's all about his gimmick

    By Anonymous Fred, at May 15, 2008 11:08 pm  

  • rokocoko looks like a man posseded

    By Anonymous no 9, at June 25, 2008 10:34 pm  

  • I would'nt Say Chabal is shit, I do think he is very hyped at the French XV level, but not by his own doing, he (in interviews) Is very dedicated to the sport.

    You should look him up playin for Sale, he is explosive and quite a hard and decent hitter

    By Anonymous AmerikaLock, at October 11, 2008 6:48 am  

  • Watching this over and again for about a year now, I just realize something I had missed before in that vid. When Ali Williams gets back to his mates after dumping his helmet, he actually looks at them to see how close to the Frenchies they're going!! Priceless.

    By Anonymous nico, at November 21, 2008 3:05 pm  

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