Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks' haka loudly countered by singing Ireland fans

Irish rugby fans made their support loud and clear during Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final match against the All Blacks, singing through the entire pre-game haka.

Pleasantries were maintained during the team's respective national anthems, but as the All Blacks assembled to perform their pre-match tradition, all etiquette was firmly booted aside. 

Halfback TJ Perenara's battle cries were deafened as the Irish crowd launched into the traditional folk song, 'The Fields of Athenry'. Some players appeared out of sync with Perenara's lead as the Kapa O Pango haka was drowned out by the loud and proud Irish. 

"Not sure if you can hear the haka at home, because you certainly can't at Tokyo Stadium," tweeted Newshub sport presenter Andrew Gourdie.

Despite the challenge, New Zealand thumped Ireland with a convincing 46-14 win, securing the All Blacks a date with England in the semi-finals. 

Following New Zealand's clinical performance, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen labelled the Irish supporters as "boisterous".

"They don't mind travelling for a party," Hansen 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."

Saturday's antics follow a September column by Irish sports writer Ewan MacKenna, calling for World Rugby to ban the haka. He claimed the intimidating tradition gives the All Blacks an "unfair advantage". 

"There's a practical reason why the haka shouldn't happen as, while it provides a psychological edge through self-inspiration and via an attempt at opponent intimidation, it also provides a small physical edge, as others are forced to stand still and go briefly cold," he wrote.

He also labelled New Zealand as "big-headed" enough without World Rugby pandering to "their already massive egos".

The loud and proud Irish support has proved controversial on social media.

The All Blacks' overall record against the men in green now stands at 29 wins to two defeats with one draw following Saturday's game, despite the three-time champions losing two of their last three matches against the Irish.

Newshub.

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