Nonu blasts Welsh tactics

All Black left seething after haka was "disrespected"

Last Updated: 26/11/08 12:18pm

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Nonu: Lost his cool

Nonu: Lost his cool

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Centre Ma'a Nonu admitted he found it hard to keep his composure after Wales and New Zealand players squared off following the haka on Saturday.

"If you're going to stand there like that then in the past people would have charged, but it's a rugby match and you can't do that."
Ma'a Nonu Quotes of the week

Both teams were locked in a stand-off after the All Blacks had performed their pre-match war dance at the Millennium Stadium.

And Nonu, who scored the opening try in All Blacks' 29-9 win in Cardiff, admits he found the Welsh response provocative and claimed it will have drawn an angry reaction back in New Zealand.

"What the Welsh did wound us up," he said. "They were probably told by (Wales coach) Warren Gatland to stand there and wait until we leave.

"But it was really hard. The Haka is a war dance.

Composure

"If you're going to stand there like that then in the past people would have charged, but it's a rugby match and you can't do that.

"People back home will have been hurt by what they decided to do. Standing in the way like they did is asking for a fight.

"My blood pressure was pretty high but then I regained my composure. I was a bit upset about it."

And the 26-year-old, who will start at No.12 at Twickenham on Saturday, has reminded England of how adopting a similar tactic when facing the haka could backfire.

"If I was facing the haka I'd respect it," he said. "The haka is the haka, after that it's game time.

"If England want to do that they can - but they'll probably get the same response."

Unique

As both sets of players starred daggers through each other at the Millennium Stadium, it took the intervention of All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw to end the confrontation.

And head coach Graham Henry hopes the incident remains unique and does not want to see England issue a similar challenge at Twickenham.

"The Welsh thought that was the best way to respond, I just wanted to know when the game was going to start," said Henry.

"It took someone with common sense, the All Blacks captain, to get things going.

"We don't need that every week. I hope a copycat situation doesn't occur.

"We've been there, it was interesting at the time but it's time to move on and be more sensible."

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