Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie was surprised to learn that Rieko Ioane thought his side’s response to the haha last week was disrespectful.
Australia lined up in the shape of a boomerang and walked towards the All Blacks’ haka before last week’s game in Melbourne, in response to the ceremonial Māori dance.
The response wasn’t particularly out of the ordinary, as England lined up opposite the haka in a ‘V’ shape at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, while Ireland stood in the shape of a number eight in tribute to Anthony Foley in 2016.
However, Rieko Ioane wasn’t happy with the response apparently, with Dave Rennie telling Fox Sports AU that the All Blacks centre had a go at his players after the match.
Dave Rennie on Rieko Ioane ‘mouthing off’ about haka response.
“I know Rieko Ioane had a lot to say to our boys after the final try, mouthing off at Folau Fainga’a about disrespecting the haka,” Rennie said.
“Which is a bit odd because as New Zealanders would know, when a team does a haka you respond with a haka; we don’t have the luxury of responding with a haka.
“So our response was in the boomerang shape and to move forward, and by throwing down a challenge we’re accepting it. There’s a fair bit of banter that goes on the field, and it just adds to the theatre I think.
“I was just a bit surprised that he thinks it’s disrespectful. That there’s an expectation that we just stand there and they throw a challenge at us and we do nothing. Just take it.
“We think it’s a very respectful way of responding, and it’s unique to us because of the boomerang shape, so we won’t we won’t be stopping that.”
Eden Park will be rocking next weekend 🔥🤙
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) September 17, 2022
Tensions have been simmering between the two sides.
There has been no shortage of talking points ahead of the second test between the All Blacks and Wallabies this year, after a couple of controversial incidents in the first meeting between the sides in Melbourne.
A controversial decision from referee Mathieu Raynal which resulted in an All Blacks try dominated the discussion at first, while Darcy Swain’s dangerous clear out on Quinn Tupaea has also been under the spotlight.
Swain will play no part in Saturday’s game after receiving a six-week ban, although Rennie believes All Blacks prop Fletcher Newell should have been cited for another incident at the ruck, which left Australia’s Scott Sio with a hamstring injury.