The way Willie Mason remembers it, the whole of New Zealand "wanted to kill me".
And the controversial Kangaroos league forward, who was born in Auckland, is still trying to explain his side of the story.
The occasion was the 2006 test between the Kiwis and Australia at Mt Smart Stadium.
Mason was caught by cameras uttering an expletive during the haka, and an incensed Kiwis forward David Kidwell poleaxed the giant Aussie prop during the game, as an act of revenge.
The 40-year-old Mason, a human headline during his playing days, is still going out of his way to explain that he meant no disrespect despite mouthing "f*** off' as the Australian side faced the traditional pre-game haka.
Speaking to Andrew Voss on Fox's The Fan, Mason said his words were aimed at the Australian-born Kiwi fullback Brent Webb, not the haka.
"I was born in New Zeland and the whole disrespecting the haka – it's pretty hard to do," Mason said.
"There's nothing but respect to the haka. It was Brent Webb – he was a cheeky little dude.
"He was hammering me and I'm like 'You can't make the Australian side. You're Aboriginal and you can't make the Aussie side. You're playing for New Zealand (with) a few expletives in there."
It was a Webb reply which inspired Mason to retort: "Oh, yeah, eff you".
"And then the camera zoomed in when I'm telling him…then the whole nation turns on me saying I'm disrespecting the haka, telling the haka to get effed.
"They ran with it and the whole of New Zealand wanted to kill me."
Kidwell hit Mason with a shoulder charge and stood over him, with the crowd going crazy. Mason admits he was shocked by the reaction.
"To Kiddy, I reckon it just probably made his whole career," Mason said.
"It couldn't have happened any better for him. How could I disrespect the haka? I've got nothing but love for New Zealand and nothing but love for the haka and respect.
"It was just taken out of context. I didn't understand why and how you could disrespect the haka by just telling another bloke to get effed."