Ireland fans have appeared to fire the All Blacks up after singing through the entire pre-match haka before New Zealand's quarter-final against Ireland.

The Tokyo Stadium crowd could feel the hairs on the back of their neck stand up after the two teams belted out their national anthems — but the niceties ended there.

Premium gold

The All Blacks assembled on their own side of halfway to perform their haka, but leader TJ Perenara couldn't be heard as he began to scream out his team's challenge to Ireland.

As the All Blacks started walking towards the Irish team at the start of the Kapo o pango war cry, Ireland fans in the stadium began singing traditional folk song The Fields Of Athenry.

Advertisement
All Blacks performing the haka before the Rugby World Cup quarter final match at Tokyo Stadium, Japan. Photo / Mark Mitchell
All Blacks performing the haka before the Rugby World Cup quarter final match at Tokyo Stadium, Japan. Photo / Mark Mitchell

However, Irish fans may want to have that one back after being demolished 46-14 as the All Blacks booked a semifinal date with England.

The song was sung so loud inside the stadium that All Blacks players appeared to lose their connection with Perenara, appearing out of synch at times.

Players including Kieran Read were also spotted eyeing the Irish players for longer than usual after the haka was concluded.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen didn't specifically touch on the noise during the haka post-game, but did notice the loud Irish support inside the stadium.

"They don't mind travelling for a party," he said. "It was sort of like a home match for them. Kiwis are quieter. We don't mind a party but we're not as boisterous."

The All Blacks take a bow after their 46-14 victory over Ireland in the Rugby World Cup quarter final match at Tokyo Stadium, Japan. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The All Blacks take a bow after their 46-14 victory over Ireland in the Rugby World Cup quarter final match at Tokyo Stadium, Japan. Photo / Mark Mitchell

It comes after Irish rugby writer Ewan MacKenna wrote a column saying "The haka gives New Zealand an unfair advantage and needs to stop".

The column said: "That's unfortunate as New Zealand are justifiably big-headed enough without a massaging of their already massive egos.

"Yet even World Rugby have it in their rules that to not stand on your own 10-metre line and watch a bunch stick out their tongues and slap their thighs is worthy of a fine and a telling off."

Advertisement

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read hit back on the eve of the quarter-final between the teams.

"It's as far from the truth as you can get, really. It's not about the opposition, it's about us as the All Blacks and a tradition that it's held for us over 100 years," Read said.

"It's about connecting to guys who have gone before us and (with) the people and the land we're in at that moment. It's a tradition that we keep enjoying and will keep doing."

The world was quick to react to the crowd singing over the haka but the reaction was mixed with some labelling the singing disrespectful and others defending the act.

The All Blacks left the Irish shell-shocked with three tries in 32 minutes, including a double to Aaron Smith as New Zealand dominated the game.

While it's performances that New Zealand have been putting for a long time, the Irish were shellshocked as the All Blacks sent a message to the rest of the competition — including England, who soundly defeated Australia in the earlier quarter-final.

Ireland were the number one ranked team coming into the World Cup but the Kiwis thumped them by 32 points.


App users click here