Japan show ultimate respect for epic haka against All Blacks
It has pretty much become the norm now in rugby that the haka is not met by silence from opposing fans when the All Blacks come to play, and it is easy to understand why, but not in Japan.
Up against the All Blacks on Saturday in Tokyo, the crowd showed the ultimate respect to the visitors, which in turn created one epic haka. Ka Mate rang out throughout the stadium ahead of what turned out to be an epic Test match, where the All Blacks came away 38-31 winners.
Unfortunately for the All Blacks, they have lost captain Sam Cane for the matches against Wales, Scotland and England after fracturing his cheekbone. Dane Coles has also flown home with a calf injury and Brodie Retallick faces a ban after his red card.
“Without having done my cheekbone before, I knew I had probably done my cheekbone,” Cane said to allblacks.com.
“I could feel it when I put my hand on my head. And I could feel the blood in my mouth. It was sort of sore but numb at the same time.
“The game was in the balance at that point, and it didn’t restrict my ability to play and perform so I was happy to carry on.”
All Blacks XV
1. George Bower (19) 2. Dane Coles (84) 3. Nepo Laulala (42) 4. Brodie Retallick (98) 5. Tupou Vaa’i (15) 6. Shannon Frizell (21) 7. Sam Cane (85) (captain) 8. Hoskins Sotutu (12) 9. Finlay Christie (12) 10. Richie Mo’unga (41) 11. Caleb Clarke (11) 12. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (2) 13. Braydon Ennor (5) 14. Sevu Reece (21) 15. Stephen Perofeta (1)
Reserves: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (17) 17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (48) 18. Tyrel Lomax (20) 19. Patrick Tuipulotu (42) 20. Dalton Papali’i (18) 21. Aaron Smith (111) 22. David Havili (21) 23. Anton Lienert-Brown (56)
1. Keita Inagaki 2. Atsushi Sakate 3. Jiwon Koo 4. Warner Dearns 5. Jack Cornelsen 6. Michael Leitch 7. Kazuki Himeno 8. Tevita Tatafu 9. Yutaka Nagare 10. Takuya Yamasawa 11. Siosaia Fifita 12. Ryoto Nakamura 13. Dylan Riley 14. Kotaro Matsushima 15. Ryohei Yamanaka
Reserves: 16. Takeshi Hino 17. Craig Millar 18. Shuhei Takeuchi 19. Kanji Shimokawa 20. Faulua Makisi 21. Naoto Saito 22. Seungsin Lee 23. Gerhard van den Heever