Rugby World Cup: England fined for haka response vs New Zealand
Last Updated: 30/10/19 4:44pm
England have been fined by World Rugby for advancing beyond the halfway line during New Zealand's performance of the haka ahead of their World Cup semi-final victory.
As the All Blacks went through their famed pre-match routine in Yokohama on Saturday, England spread out in a V formation to surround them and ignored warnings from officials to stay out of their opponents' half.
A World Rugby statement read: "England have been fined for a breach of World Cup tournament rules relating to cultural challenges, which states that no players from the team receiving the challenge may advance beyond the halfway line.
"This is in line with the protocol which operates globally across the international game."
The fine will be donated to charity.
A stunning performance saw England earn a 19-7 victory, sending them through to face South Africa in Saturday's final, while New Zealand face Wales in Friday's third-place match.
Following the match, England's players revealed that head coach Eddie Jones had been behind the plan, which was designed to show that they were "ready for anything".
The video has also gone viral on social media. By Wednesday morning, the World Rugby's YouTube video titled 'England's incredible response to intense New Zealand Haka' had received almost 4.2m views.
England's approach provoked memories of France forming an arrow shape and advancing on the All Blacks ahead of the 2011 World Cup final, after which they were fined £2,500.
On England's response, Mako Vunipola stated it was important to lay down a marker.
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"We wanted to be respectful but we wanted to also make sure that they understood that we would be ready for the fight," Vunipola said.
"We just knew that we had to back it up. There have been a few times in the past when the All Blacks have had that done to them but then blown the opposition away.
"We put accountability on ourselves to back it up and I thought we did. We knew it would rile them up, it probably felt like we disrespected them.
"We meant no offence by it, we just wanted to let them know that we were ready for the challenge ahead. And they let us know in the first couple of contacts."
Meanwhile, Wales coach Warren Gatland described England's response to the Haka before that game as "completely respectful."
New Zealander Gatland said: "We haven't even spoken about the Haka. We might do a 'W' for Wales. It hasn't really crossed my mind.
"I think the way teams want to respond to the Haka is completely up to them. For them (England) to do something like that is completely respectful as far as I'm concerned.
"They didn't turn their backs or anything like that. They stood there and received the Haka. I was just thankful England didn't do some Morris dancing!
"I thought that was a perfect response. You can respond in your own way, and they were accepting the challenge. That's what England did.
"The Haka is about standing up and accepting the challenge because the Haka is challenging lots of things about you - how tough you are, how physical you are.
"It's important you don't take a backward step and you respond respectfully. I thought England did that."