Tall Blacks' haka booed, wrong anthem played at Olympic Qualifiers

The Tall Blacks perform the haka at the Olympic qualifier tournament in Manilla. Photo / Getty
The Tall Blacks perform the haka at the Olympic qualifier tournament in Manilla. Photo / Getty

The Tall Blacks have performed like professionals on the floor at the Olympic Qualifiers, but their pre-game treatment has had a distinctly amateur vibe.

Playing in Manila, the Kiwis have had to deal with booing and music playing during the haka, and have also seen the Canadian national anthem played instead of the New Zealand version.

Their first clash on Wednesday morning was against the host Philippines, whose fanatic crowd booed the haka, which was itself overshadowed by build-up music playing throughout it.

While the music was surely a first, Tall Blacks point guard Tai Webster said the boos weren't a surprise.

"I mean, different people react in different ways to it," he said. "I guess it was just their way of reacting to it, the crowd getting behind the home team and what not."

"It's expected, but you know, it is what it is," he told Filipino media.

Filipino fans watching from home realised the errors of the fans in the arena, and were quick to point out the mistake.

The fans did show appreciation afterwards at the completion of the haka, and the event organisers did not make the same musical mistake twice, with the haka against France this morning being performed without a hitch.

However, there were still pre-game issues, with the wrong national anthem being played. Instead of God Defend New Zealand, O Canada reverberated around the stadium.

The drama has not fazed the Tall Blacks however, with a victory over Philippines being followed by a tough fought loss to powerhouses France.

They face Canada in the semifinals on Saturday night, where hopefully the anthems will be played in the correct order.

- NZ Herald

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