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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
New Zealand ire at 'handbag haka'
Scene from the advert where All Blacks perform the haka with handbags

An Australian TV advert portraying New Zealand rugby players carrying women's handbags has upset the All Blacks.

An advertisement shows the All Blacks players performing the haka challenge carrying computer-generated handbags.

It refers to an incident when former captain Tana Umaga broke up a fight by hitting fellow All Black Chris Masoe over the head with a woman's handbag.

"It's insensitive, I think, to Maori and disrespectful of the All Blacks," said assistant coach Wayne Smith.

Mr Masoe, who was allegedly reduced to tears by the blow, was later fined NZ$3,000 (1,000) by the New Zealand Rugby Union.

The handbag in question - picture from trademe.co.nz
The handbag later sold at auction
The incident generated considerable media coverage and sparked jokes at the All Blacks' expense.

The handbag went on to fetch NZ$22,750 ($13,650, 7,500) in an online auction.

The television advert is promoting Saturday's Tri-Nations Test between New Zealand and Australia in Christchurch.

Australian coach John Connolly told local radio he had not seen the advertisement yet.

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