The reaction of some fans at International Stadium Yokohama during the All Blacks' haka has been criticised as "disrespectful".

The All Blacks begun their World Cup defence with a big victory over rivals Springboks in a thriller.

However, during the All Blacks' traditional challenge before the clash, a bunch of fans sung during the haka which was audible through the TV broadcast.

All Blacks performing the haka before their World Cup match against South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama. Photo / Mark Mitchell
All Blacks performing the haka before their World Cup match against South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The reaction to the kapa o pango was met with a strong reaction on social media, with many criticising the behaviour of the fans at the stadium.

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"The f****** disrespect," said one fan on Twitter. "When south Pacific teams haka before the game it's the equivalent of a national anthem … to sing ole ole over that would be like singing fly eagles fly during the Star spangled banner."

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"Hate it when the opposition sing during the #haka," said another. "Totally ruins the atmosphere of it for me."

Many others added similar sentiments.

Others said it was a fair way to respond to the All Blacks' challenge.

The All Blacks performed a revamped kapa o pango haka, led by captain Kieran Read for the first time alongside usual haka leader TJ Perenara.

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All Black first-five Richie Mo'unga suggested after the game that it was a symbol of team's togetherness.

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"It was awesome. It was very uplifting as a player," Mo'unga said. "I really respect and admire what [Read] did there as a leader, to do something different.

"He stepped out of his comfort zone and really showed the boys he is willing to lead and do something for us on such a big occasion.

"I was fizzed. If you have a captain like that, you follow them."