The Wallabies sparked criticism for forming a boomerang and advancing on the ABs as they performed the Haka Saturday / Sky Sport
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has backed his team's decision to form a Boomerang in response to the All Blacks' Haka at Eden Park over the weekend, despite criticism from All Black Rieko Ioane.
The Australians debuted the boomerang at the first Bledisloe test in Melbourne last week, saying it was a culturally appropriate response to the All Blacks.
The players linked arms and formed the shape of a boomerang, walking toward the ABs as they performed the Haka.
The Boomerang is BACK in the face of a tense Eden Park Haka! 🇦🇺🇳🇿— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) September 24, 2022
🖥️ All Blacks v Wallabies | LIVE now on 9Gem, 9Now & Stan Sport.#Rugby #BledisloeCup pic.twitter.com/STP4Cfm3az
The retaliation illicit a mixed response with All Black Rieko Ioane (Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāpuhi) slamming it as disrespectful.
Rennie dismissed the criticism as the boomerang returned to New Zealand soil at Eden Park on Saturday, claiming it was an appropriate and proportionate response.
"I know Rieko Ioane had a lot to say to our boys after the final try, mouthing off at Folau Fainga'a about disrespecting the haka," the Wallabies coach told Fox Sports.
"A bit odd because as New Zealanders would know, when a team does a haka. you respond with a haka. We don't have the luxury of responding with a haka ... So our response was in the boomerang shape and to move forward."
"By throwing down a challenge we're accepting it."
The Wallabies' response didn't prove effective in the Eden Park match-up, the ABs thumping the visitors 40-14, in the second test.