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NZ league team change haka routine: report

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/11/2016 Scott Bailey

New Zealand players perform the Haka ahead of kick off during the Four Nations match between England and New Zealand Kiwis © Jan Kruger/Getty Images New Zealand players perform the Haka ahead of kick off during the Four Nations match between England and New Zealand Kiwis The Kiwis have reportedly changed their pre-game haka routine ahead of this weekend's Four Nations clash with Australia, after concerns it had been contributing to slow starts in rugby league Test matches.

New Zealand retreated to drinks and a moment's drills after performing the traditional routine before Sunday morning's 17-16 win over England.

The change was made following the Kiwis' 26-6 loss last month to the Kangaroos in Perth.

The shift came after fears the intensity was having an impact on the side's performances early in matches, according to the Fairfax New Zealand.

The Kiwis have conceded the first try in their past five matches against Australia, despite having gone on to win three of them.

Similar concerns were aired about the All Blacks' preparation for rugby Tests two years ago by coach Steve Hansen.

The winner of Sunday's clash between Australia and Zealand will likely book themselves a spot in the Four Nations final on November 20 at Anfield.

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