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Hell-bent wallabies say they respect all blacks HakaMEERI News

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Auckland, Sept. 23 (APP – UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News – Sept 23, 2022): Australian captain James Slipper said on Friday that the Wallabies are respecting the All Blacks’ haka, following tensions between the teams leading up to their crunch clash.

The All Blacks face Australia on Saturday at Eden Park in Auckland, where the hosts have been undefeated since 1994 and last lost to the Wallabies in 1986.

Australian head coach Dave Rennie, a New Zealander, said on Thursday that All Black star Rieko Ioane had accused part of the Australian squad of not taking the haka seriously.

The haka is the Maori war dance the All Blacks perform before a match in a hair-raising challenge to the opposition.

In response, the Australians stood in a bent “boomerang” formation during the haka for last week’s test in Melbourne, as the All Blacks sealed a dramatic and controversial 39-37 victory.

Slipper said that wasn’t a sign of disrespect.

“We respect the haka and the All Blacks team. Every time we play against New Zealand we know it’s going to be difficult. You have to respect that,” Slipper told reporters in Eden Park.

Slipper said the Wallabies have yet to decide how they will react to the haka this weekend.

Sam Whitelock, who captains the All Blacks with regular skipper Sam Cane recovering from a head injury, also tried to ease the tension and said he had no problem with the boomerang formation.

“Obviously they’re doing something that brings them together as a country. Everyone knows the boomerang comes from Australia,” Whitelock said.

Slipper knows that his side will have to defy history to win at Eden Park, having lost all 22 games to New Zealand there since 1986.

“History is against us. We come in confident, but we know it will take a lot of effort,” he said.

“At some point a (Wallabies) team will win here – we want to be the one.” The Australians came heartbreakingly close to beating the All Blacks last week before a last-ditch effort from Jordie Barrett sealed victory for the visitors.

It left New Zealand with a shot at winning the Rugby Championship title on Saturday, having already retained the Bledisloe Cup for its 20th season.

“We lost the (Bledisloe Cup) trophy, that’s the most disappointing thing for us,” said Slipper.

“There is still a lot of driving on this.

“We haven’t won here since the 1980s, it hurts.

“We are determined to put in a performance.”

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