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In Pics: The Haka, Halpin’s Salute And Handling Lomu

In Pics: The Haka, Halpin’s Salute And Handling Lomu

We take a look at some of the more memorable moments from recent Ireland v New Zealand fixtures. Click here for more.

We take a look at some of the more memorable moments from recent Ireland v New Zealand fixtures. Pictured above: team captain Willie Anderson has nothing but All Blacks’ skipper Wayne Shelford (number 8) on his mind as he links and leads Ireland towards the New Zealand Haka at Lansdowne Road in 1989.

Donal Lenihan, a second row on the Irish side that lost 23-6 that day, said this week of the famed Haka face-off: “What he (Anderson) failed to tell his teammates was that he, positioned in the centre of the line, would advance forward towards the All Blacks. In blissful ignorance, we watched as Anderson pumped his legs and headed for the tourists.

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“That is why the arrowhead formation developed as the Haka progressed. Lansdowne Road had never seen anything like it and the crowd went ballistic.

“As a result of that game, the authorities decreed that neither team would advance beyond the ten-metre line when the Haka was being performed. It was certainly one of the most bizarre moments of my playing career.”

The All Blacks’ last visit to Dublin in November 2001 saw a hands-on-hips approach generally adopted, in response to the Haka.

Peter Stringer and Anthony Foley (above) watch on as New Zealand perform the Haka before 2002’s second Test at Eden Park, Auckland. Ireland lost the match 40-8, although the Kiwis were admittedly flattered by a half-time scoreline of 13-3 – a week earlier Eddie O’Sullivan’s side trailed 10-6 after an hour of the first Test but a penalty miss from Ronan O’Gara and an unconverted try, scored by Leon MacDonald, killed off any hopes the Irish had of a maiden win against the hosts.

English referee Tony Spreadbury does well to spot Ireland captain Keith Wood under a pile of bodies in the 1997 clash at Lansdowne Road. Wood was scoring his first of two tries in the game, but unfortunately the All Blacks fought back to lead 27-15 at the break and win 63-15 by the finish. Jeff Wilson and Glen Osborne shared out four of the tourists’ seven tries.

Along with former centre Vinny Cunningham, hooker Wood is Ireland’s top try scorer against New Zealand with his brace from ’97. Wood is also second to fly-half David Humphreys (14 points) in career points scored against the Kiwis.

Irish tighthead prop Gary Halpin inadvertedly lit the touch paper for New Zealand’s 43-19 victory over Ireland in the opening Pool C tie at the 1995 World Cup in South Africa.

The former Olympic hammer thrower crashed through some weary tackles to score an early try from a tapped penalty at Ellis Park. It was Halpin’s try-scoring celebrations that put fire in the Blacks’ bellies as he offered them a middle-finger salute.

A moment of defiance from the Leinster and London Irish clubman, but tries from Frank Bunce, Josh Kronfeld, Glen Osborne and the unstoppable Jonah Lomu (2) soon chalked out Halpin’s early effort.

The aforementioned Jonah Lomu, pictured during the Pool C clash at the ’95 World Cup, occupying four Irishmen. Just turned 20 back then, but standing at 6ft 5in and close to 19 stone, Lomu was pratically unstoppable with ball in hand at the 1995 and 1999 World Cups.

Indeed, of the 37 tries he managed in his 63 tests, more than half (20) were scored during the ’95 season and at the ’99 Cup tournament.

Lomu’s career has been sadly curtailed due to a kidney disease – Nephrotic Syndrome.