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Home / Rugby Union / Mako Vunipola jokes Joe Marler should pay fine England were hit with for Haka response before New Zealand win

Mako Vunipola jokes Joe Marler should pay fine England were hit with for Haka response before New Zealand win

Mako Vunipola joked that Joe Marler should pay the £2.5k fine England were hit with for their response to the Haka.

As New Zealand performed their traditional pre-match routine in Yokohama during the World Cup semi-final, England players abandoned their usual shoulder-to-shoulder stance, to take a more defiant approach, with a V-shape formation.

England formed a V-shape to counter the Haka

Getty – Contributor
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England formed a V-shape to counter the Haka

Captain Owen Farrell was captured smirking as referee Nigel Owens ordered several players, including Marler, to step back.

According to Vunipola, the idea came from Eddie Jones, who wanted his side to show they were ready.

“We talked about it as a team but everything has to get past the boss,” said Vunipola.

“He gave us the idea. We wanted to be respectful but we wanted to also make sure that they understood that we would be ready for the fight. We knew it would rile them up, it probably felt like we disrespected them.

“We meant no offence by it, we just wanted to let them know that we were ready for the challenge ahead.”

England’s Haka response has been viewed more than four million times online and set the tone for their stunning 19-7 win to put them into a first World Cup final since 2007.

“There have been a few times in the past when the All Blacks have done that and blown the opposition away. We put accountability on ourselves to back it up and I thought we did,” Vunipola added.

Farrell had a smirk on his face during the challenge

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Farrell had a smirk on his face during the challenge

“[Marler] said he got confused. “He thought he was supposed to go all the way around it and go to their 10m line. But because of that, he’s the one who has to pay the fine. He dishes it out a lot so the boys would be more than happy if he has to pay it.”

England’s near-perfect display set up a final with South Africa, who narrowly beat Wales, and a chance for Jones to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time in his career.

According to former back-rower James Haskell, it will also be the fulfilment of a vow the Australian made in his first England team meeting when he was appointed in 2015.

Haskell, recalling that meeting, told talkSPORT: “He addressed the team and said: ‘Look, we’re fifth or sixth in the world. Do you genuinely think you guys are the fifth of sixth best team in the world?’

“We said ‘no’.

“Then he said: ‘We’re going to work to be the best team in the world and we’re going to win a World Cup.”

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