All Blacks may drop 'disrespected' haka

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The Independent Online
The All Blacks accused Australia on Friday of showing disrespect to their trademark pre-match haka and their coach, John Hart, said the New Zealanders might drop the traditional Maori war dance at future games.

"We would rather not do it than be disrespected." Hart said on the eve of the sides' Tri-Nations Test in Brisbane. He said that the Wallabies acted improperly when they ignored the haka before the opening match of the competition in Wellington three weeks ago.

"We were extremely disappointed with their attitude to the haka," said Hart, whose side will clinch the inaugural series if they beat Australia on Saturday. "It was disrespectful not to the All Blacks but to New Zealand." The Wallabies practised training drills at the other end of the field during the haka at Wellington on July 6. The All Blacks responded by thrashing Australia 43-6.

In contrast, the South African Springboks faced the All Blacks shoulder to shoulder while they performed the haka last Saturday in Christchurch. "That's what the haka is all about - the honour. They [South Africa] faced up to it," Hart said.

The Australia coach, Greg Smith, said his players were merely trying to keep warm in near-freezing conditions. "I have no problem with the haka - it's a very active act that people like to see but it's really got nothing to do with our team," Smith said.

New Zealand head the Tri-Nations table with nine points from two games after beating both Australia and South Africa at home. Australia have four points from two games, ahead of the Springboks, who prop up the table with two points.

Second Division Moseley have signed the Tongan scrum-half Manu Faiva, who becomes the club's first signing since they approved a major cash injection from an eight-man Midlands consortium.