France have been fined £10,000 by the Interbational Rugby Board (IRB) for advancing towards New Zealand as they performed the haka ahead of the World Cup final which the All Black went on to win 8-7.
Les Bleus captain Theirry Dusatoir led his side as they linked arms and marched towards the All Blacks in a V-formation.
He said afterwards: ‘At one stage we were so close to them that they wanted to kiss the New Zealanders, but I told them to take it easy. It was a great moment and a moment we will remember all our lives.’
The IRB have said the response breached a rule on how sides should face the haka, introduced after previous confrontation.
French coach Marc Lievremont said the he felt the fine was harsh while New Zealand manager Darren Shand said the fine was severe and that the incident was part of the culture of the sport.
“They came to play and that was great,” he said. “The culture challenge is that. It should be done and then we get on with the real stuff.”