Super Rugby Aupiki: Hurricanes Poua double down on political protest with pre-game haka against champions Matatū

Hurricanes Poua have defied orders not to take a political stance with their haka and again called out the government.

The side caused a massive controversy this week, after their pre match haka against Chiefs Manawa, making reference to a "redneck government".

Leilani Perese leads the Hurricanes Poua haka.
Leilani Perese leads the Hurricanes Poua haka. Photo credit: Getty Images

Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee earlier told RNZ the franchise would apologise for the haka and that it would not happen again.

However, prior to kick off in Saturday's clash with Matatū at Wellington, Poua performed another alternative haka, with references to the government and to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Poua haka leader Leilani Perese doubled down on last week's performance, hitting back at opponents and saying the government should "whakangarongaro" or 'disappear'.

Perese smiled before rallying the team, calling out those who said women should not haka and presented the team as "āhuru te ārangi" - troublemakers or disruptors.

The rugby was just as dramatic, with Poua needing a late try to seal a pulsating 36-29 win.

With the score locked up with just minutes remaining, replacement Cilia-Marie Po'e-Tofaeono struck the decisive blow for Poua.

Shakira Baker was sensational for the Poua, bagging two tries, while Isabella Waterman was a constant threat from the back.

Poua captain Jackie Patea-Fereti said tonight was about showing Aotearoa what they can do.

"It's been a hard week, so this means a lot," she said. "We done our words last week, now it's through our actions."

She said she was especially proud of her bench for coming on and finishing the job.