Scotland Wales Northern Ireland

You are in: You are in: Rugby Union  
Front Page 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Other Sports 
Sports Talk 
In Depth 
Photo Galleries 
TV & Radio 
BBC Pundits 
Question of Sport 
Funny Old Game 

Around The Uk

BBC News

BBC Weather

Thursday, 15 November, 2001, 19:05 GMT
Anderson bucks the trend
All Blacks captain Buck Shelford's Haka is intefrrupted by Ireland captain Willie Anderson back in 1989
Buck Shelford and Willie Anderson come head-to-head
BBC Sport Online's Jim Stokes catches up with former Ireland captain Willie Anderson who caused a furore 12 years ago at Lansdowne Road.

To go nose-to-nose with Buck Shelford, and survive, is no mean feat.

Well, former Ireland captain Willie Anderson did just that.

It was 12 years ago that Anderson dared accept Shelford's challenge and break with tradition.

But usually when New Zealand deliver the Haka just before kick-off, teams wait until they have returned to earth after their final leap in the air.

Not Willie Anderson and his Ireland team that crisp, autumn day.

In front of a 50,000 capacity crowd as Shelford led the chorus, Anderson's men in green linked arms and began to shuffle forward into the mass of black jerseys.

Shelford and Anderson smelt each other's breath as the crescendo of the crowd rose expecting fireworks and a bit of argy-bargy before the game even started.

Shelford's eyes were like steal darts; Anderson's arms raised in celebration as he beckoned to the crowd.

Sean Fitzpatrick passed Anderson, and appeared to spit fire from his mouth - fight on.

Anderson had hoped that his team would be inspired. They were. New Zealand even more so as they ran out comfortable 23-6 winners.

There were recriminations for Anderson and his team.

The media went for the jugular for the apparent disrespect shown to the tourists.

''They were throwing down the gauntlet and we were accepted it,'' said Anderson.

''Coach Jimmy Davidson and myself thought of the idea on the run-up to the game.

''The All Blacks were getting all the cheers as they were doing the Haka.

''So we decided that if we met them head-to-head, the crowd would get behind us.

''It worked to. The atmosphere at the game was fantastic.

''We were really inspired, and played way above ourselves.

''Okay they won well in the end, but I still feel it was worth it.

''Nobody said anything after the game, although it proved quite a talking point for the crowd and the media.

''But the All Blacks and Wayne Shelford, in particular, appeared completely unfazed about the incident.''

Shelford himself backed that up and stayed away from any controversy.

''The Haka is a challenge, and they accepted it. It was as simple as that,'' said Shelford.

''I certainly did not mind. I suppose it did rile our boys. They played well that day.''

For you Haka enthusiasts try this to see if it gets your dander up.

Ka mate, ka Mate! Ka ora, ka ora!
Ka Mate, Ka Mate! Ka ora, ka ora!
Tenei te tangata puhuruhuru
Nana i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra!
A hupane, kaupane
A hupene, kaupane whiti te ra!

The day Ireland threw down the gaunlet to NZ
Willie Anderson goes head-to-head with Buck Shelford
''We wanted the crowd to applaud us instead''
says former Ireland skipper Willie Anderson
Links to more Rugby Union stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Rugby Union stories

^^ Back to top