WATCH: Surreal moment as Leigh Halfpenny performs haka with Crusaders against Munster

David Skippers
Leigh Halfpenny Crusaders haka 2024.jpg

Former Wales and British & Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny performs the haka with the Crusaders.

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny was responsible for a surreal moment when he performed the haka for his new team, the Crusaders, in their clash against Munster in Cork on Saturday.

The 35-year-old was making his debut for the Crusaders after signing a one-year contract with the Christchurch-based outfit towards the end of last year.

Ahead of the encounter between the respective United Rugby Championship and Super Rugby Pacific champions at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Halfpenny lined up towards the back of the pack as the Crusaders started a stirring version of their war dance.

No stranger to the haka

Halfpenny is, of course, no stranger to the haka as he has faced several versions of it as a player for Wales and the Lions during an illustrious international career.

He represented his country in 101 internationals and the Lions on four occasions, of which one was against the All Blacks in 2017.

However, he was on the other side of the fence on Saturday and didn’t hold back while laying down the challenge to the Munstermen with his Crusaders team-mates.

There was plenty of reaction on social media with Planet Rugby writer Jared Wright saying on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Seeing Leigh Halfpenny do a Haka before a game is something I thought I’d only see in a PlayStation game.”

Meanwhile, Irish sports website were just as shocked and said: “Don’t think we’d ever have predicted we’d see Leigh Halfpenny doing the Haka on the banks of the River Lee.”

Most rugby fans were in agreement with Gearóid Folan saying: “Leigh Halfpenny doing the Haka in Cork wasn’t on my 2024 bingo card.”

Things did not go according to plan for the Crusaders during the match as Munster held on for a narrow 21-19 victory in front of a capacity crowd of 40,885 spectators.

Munster were without several first choice players due to injury and Six Nations call-ups for Ireland, while the Crusaders were without many of their All Blacks stars, who stayed at home in New Zealand.

Entertaining spectacle

Despite that, the sides delivered an entertaining spectacle to those in attendance with Gavin Coombes (lock) leading the way for Munster with a brace of tries, while Scott Buckley (hooker) also crossed the whitewash and Joey Carbery (fly-half) added three conversions.

For the Crusaders, Mitch Drummond (scrum-half), Dallas McLeod (centre) and Jamie Hannah (lock) scored tries while fly-half duo Taha Kemara and Rivez Reihana kicked a conversion apiece.

READ MORE: Gavin Coombes double helps Munster beat Crusaders in front of over 40,000 fans