Rugby Union

Mako Vunipola has a different reaction to Crusaders' Haka

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There’s different ways of responding to a Haka.

The French in the World Cup final in 2011 formed an arrow head and glared it down. 

Wales stood their ground once it was over and the ref had to intervene to get the game going.

England fans sing Swing Low.

All valiant attempts to show the All Blacks that the opposing team are not intimidated by the challenge in the slightest – all have ended in an All Black victory, however.

Step forward, Mako Vunipola!

The England loose head had the least bothered reaction to the Crusaders own special version of the war cry.

The 26-year-old was actually born in Wellington, New Zealand before moving to England when he was young; his brother Billy, the England number 8, was also in the Lions squad before a shoulder injury ruled him out.

Vunipola watched the Haka with disinterest as he scratched his ear and then proceeded to win a series of scrum penalties deep in the Crusaders half.

The loose head possesses a ferocious work rate which helped his side win a tight match earlier this morning.

The stand-out Saracens prop has abilities few props in the northern hemisphere have, his ability to carry and retain possession even when he is isolated. Mako also has a passing game that belongs by rights in amongst the backs.

He’s a special player that’s for sure.

Vunipola’s all-round game was in evidence as the Lions beat the Crusaders in Christchurch 12-3, with all the points coming from the boot of England fly half Owen Farrell.

However good the final result was, there are still massive issues with the Lions attack play. It seems scripted, predictable at times.

In contrast, the differing philosophies about how to play rugby were never more evident than Jack Goodhue’s break in the second half.

The New Zealander first stepped Owen Farrell then sprinted down the field. The young outside centre realised he was not going to make it himself, but saw space in behind and winger George Bridge moving rapidly on his wing.

You can watch the brilliant reaction to the Haka below.

Goodhue kicked the ball in the space and Bridge ended up in touch, but the pair had shown more attacking ambition between them than the Lions combined.

Not a bad result for the Lions, but it was not a particularly good one either.

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