Tuesday, October 25, 2011

France fined for haka breach

France have been fined 10,000 pounds for advancing on the New Zealand haka before Sunday's Rugby World Cup final.

The International Rugby Board handed down the ruling stating Les Bleus had failed to stay the required distance from the haka, behind the 10-metre line in their own half.

France captain Thierry Dusautoir led his teammates in a V-formation as they steadily progressed towards the customary war dance from the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland.

Speaking before the fine, Dusautoir said the team wanted to make a bold statement and believed it was a worthwhile exercise despite the narrow loss.

"At one stage we were so close to them that they wanted to kiss the New Zealanders, but I told them to take it easy. It was a great moment and a moment we will remember all our lives," Dusautoir said.

France coach Marc Lievremont said Dusautoir tried to stop his teammates from encroaching too far and believed the fine was unjustified.

"He tried to stop them, there was a bit of movement bringing them forward."

"But a fine? I don't know."

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw expected something unusual from the French and saw their challenge as an indicator of things to come with the French pushing New Zealand all the way in a 8-7 loss.

"We talked that they'd bring something different and they did, but the game doesn’t start until the whistle blows does it?" McCaw said.

"If anything, it showed us what we were in for and that's exactly what we got."

"They were right up for the game as we expected and they certainly made it tough."

France are not the only side to deploy similar tactics, Ireland famously advanced past the halfway line when facing the haka in 1989.

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