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Emotional Black Ferns Sevens honoured with haka after winning team of the year at Halbergs

The Black Ferns were given a special congratulations from members of the audience at last night's Halberg Awards, receiving an impromptu haka after winning team of the year.

Captain Sarah Hirini along with teammates Alena Saili, Stacey Waaka and Kelly Brazier and coach Allan Bunting went up to accept the award on behalf of their teammates after a hugely successful 2018 in which they won both the Commonwealth Games gold medal and World Cup.

Bunting paid tribute to the All Blacks Sevens, who were also finalists for team of the year, in his acceptance speech on behalf of the team.

"It's hugely humbling to be a part of massive amount of teams that have been so successful," he said.

"[All Blacks Sevens coach] Clark Laidlaw, I think we're accepting this on behalf of our sevens programmes because we're doing so well."

Bunting wrapped up his speech by thanking the "beautiful, young wahine that we get to work with every day".

Shortly after the coach had finished, members of the audience began performing Tika Tonu - an iconic Ngāti Kahungunu haka which calls for young people to look inside themselves.

The gesture left the award recipients visibly emotional, with Hirini holding back tears while Waaka quietly joined in, mouthing the words.

New Zealand shot putter Tom Walsh took out the Supreme Award after winning Sportsman of the Year for a second consecutive year.


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