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Watch: Crowd drown out the haka as England players unmoved

By Ian Cameron
England players didn't appear to respond to the haka

The Twickenham crowd got in behind their England side as their players failed to respond to the challenge of the New Zealand haka in their Autumn Nations Series.

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There was much talk pre-game about how Eddie Jones’ side would respond to the cultural challenge but England players just stood there and watched.

The crowd however played their part, with the traditional Kamate largely drowned by the vast majority of the 82,000 attending in West London, who kicked into ‘Swing Low’ as soon as the New Zealanders started.

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Richard Cockerill had implied that the players would respond the much loved traditional, as Cockerill did many moons ago.

“It’s a home game and we want a partisan crowd who are on our side. If the fans can drown out the noise of New Zealand doing the Haka then let’s bring it on,” the former Leicester hooker said.

“Is it a challenge or not a challenge? We’ll respect it how we want to respect it. It’s a psychological advantage for them and we will deal with it how we feel is right.

“I have no regrets over what I did and I think it’s a sign of respect for the Maori culture. It’s great theatre and it will be part of a big day.

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“I think the Haka has become a little bit sterile and too much is made of it when people do different things towards it. That’s overplayed.

Whatever the England players did or didn’t do, it certainly didn’t appear to work for them. The All Blacks had scored 14 unanswered points with just 10 minutes on the clock, with the men in white looking like rabbits in the headlights.

England eventually hit back through an Owen Farrell penalty but Eddie Jones will no doubt be pulling what’s left of his hair out at England’s turgid start to the game, a trend they have vowed to address.

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