England hit with £2000 fine after response to New Zealand's haka in Rugby World Cup semi-final

England were hit with a £2000 fine by World Rugby after their response to New Zealand’s haka.

Eddie Jones’ side formed a V-shape in response to the All Blacks’ pre-match tradition, ahead of their stunning 19-7 victory in Yokohama.

But the shape saw six players cross the half-way point, a breach of the rules relating to ‘cultural challenges’.

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It forced renowned referee Nigel Owens and his team to ask six England players to retreat into their own half.

England were informed of the fine on Monday night - with the proceeds donated to the Typhoon Higibis Relief Fund, which will help survivors of the super typhoon that hit the country earlier this month.

‘Response was brilliant’

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen called the V-shape a ‘fantastic’ response.

He said: “I think England's response was fantastic. They didn't get fined for responding with what they did, they got fined because they went over the half-way (line). And everyone knows you can't go over the half-way.

Owen Farrell, centre, smirked as New Zealand performed their haka. (Photo by Richard Heathcote - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
The England team spread out in a 'V' shape in response to the haka. (Photo by Richard Heathcote - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
England eventually beat New Zealand 19-7 in Yokohama. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

“I thought the response was brilliant. If you understand the haka, it requires a response. It's a challenge to you personally and it requires you to have a response. I thought it was brilliant, quite imaginative too.”

England captain Owen Farrell added after the match: "We didn't just want to stand in a flat line and let them come at us.”

France were fined £2500 in 2011 when they formed a similar shape and advanced on New Zealand before the World Cup final in Auckland.

‘Maori love it’

“Most Māori love it when the challenge is met – I love it,” Haka expert Tapeta Wehi told the Guardian. “People have to understand more what the haka is about.

“People think what they are doing is disrespectful. But if you ask Māori, they’ll tell you that’s what it’s all about. It’s laying a challenge and if the other team want to challenge you back – then it’s all good. That’s what it is all about.”

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