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'Goosebumps': Black Ferns' spine-tingling haka goes viral, grabs global headlines

Newshub logo Newshub 20/06/2022 Stephen Foote
Black Ferns haka before the Pacific Four round three women's rugby match between New Zealand and USA. © Image - Photosport, Video - Spark Sports Black Ferns haka before the Pacific Four round three women's rugby match between New Zealand and USA.

The Black Ferns are winning more than just test matches in recent weeks, capturing the attention of the global sports world with an exceptionally spine-tingling rendition of their traditional pre-match haka on Saturday.

The driving rain and mist at Whangārei's Semenoff Stadium added an eerie quality to the performance, before their final Pacific Four test match against USA.

In fact, the NZ women may have landed a blow before the opening whistle sounded, with the almost awe-struck American side eventually pulverised 50-6, as the Black Ferns rounded out their unbeaten campaign to seal the tournament title.

'Goosebumps': Black Ferns' spine-tingling haka goes viral, captures global headlines
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Footage of the haka has since gone viral, clocking up almost 500,000 views on World Rugby's Facebook page and making headlines across the globe.

"We often see the All Blacks lauded for their jaw-dropping renditions of it, but it is the women's national team - the Black Ferns - who stole the show at the weekend," wrote WalesOnline.

Even former Black Ferns captain Les Elder in the Spark Sport commentary booth was left shellshocked by the performance.

"Goosebumps," Elder said. "That was unbelievable, that was beautiful."

At the forefront of the haka were Northlanders Krystal Murray, Leilani Perese and Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, who all hail from the local Māori iwi of Ngāpuhi.

"You can hear the stadium supporting those girls especially," Elder added.

Setting social media abuzz, the video has seen floods of positive comments across multiple platforms.

"Best tradition in global sports anywhere," said one fan. 

"Awesome, powerful women - so proud to see them in full throttle," said another. "We need more of this positive reporting."

It's another small, yet encouraging victory for the Black Ferns, who are rebuilding both on and off the field, after a damning independent review of their culture released in April revealed players had faced insensitive comments and body shaming.

Now, with former All Blacks coaching guru Wayne Smith at the helm, the team are trending in the right direction, as they prepare to defend their World Cup crown on home soil later this year.

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