England punished for response to Haka in Rugby World Cup semi-final

England have been fined for crossing the halfway line during New Zealand's haka after they formed a provocative V-shaped formation at last weekend's World Cup semifinal in Yokohama, tournament organisers said today.

When the New Zealand team were performing the haka, England decided against the usual shoulder-to-shoulder line and instead lined up in a V shape and stepped over the halfway line.

"England have been fined for a breach of World Cup 2019 rules relating to cultural challenges, which states that no players from the team receiving the challenge may advance beyond the halfway line", a statement read.

"I thought their response was fantastic", he said.

Fullback Beauden Barrett is the only outside back player remaining from last week's stunning 19-7 defeat by England, the All Blacks' first World Cup loss in 12 years.

It is reported that the team have been fined a four-figure sum, but less than the £2,500 France were forced to pay after adopting a similar tactic prior to the 2011 World Cup final, as on this occasion nearly the entire squad were beyond the halfway line.

While they have had so much success promoting from within it might be time to bring in a new voice as coach, former All Black Justin Marshall has said.

Looking at the New Zealand vs Wales odds, we like Evens for the first scoring play to be an All Blacks try.

"There have been a few times in the past when the All Blacks have done that and blown the opposition away".

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"I thought that was a flawless response".

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"It would be easy for us to be down on ourselves and throw in the towel but I expect these players, over the next 48 hours, to lift themselves and go out there and realise there's an opportunity for that group to potentially do something special".

"You want to go right to the death and we're in the death now". Often people will get something off their chest if they are thinking about the game and then he says his bit and without fail you could hear a pin drop.

"I think the way teams want to respond to the Haka is completely up to them". I was just thankful England didn't do some Morris dancing.

'They were really good, and I don't think it was just brute force - there was a lot of intelligent play, very effective play from their pack.

Speaking about the tactic, Farrell said: "We knew we had to be in a radius behind them".

"They've already come out and said they're going to fight fire with fire". "I suppose the side that does what they do better will be the more successful team". But if you ask Māori, they'll tell you that's what it's all about.

"The haka is about standing up and accepting the challenge because the haka is challenging lots of things about you - how tough you are, how physical you are".

  • Lawrence Cooper