New Zealand star Brandon Smith and Kangaroos gun Harry Grant shared an ultimate show of respect following the Kiwis’ haka, embracing as both teams prepared for kick-off.

As Michael Maguire’s side performed their ceremonial war dance, the New Zealand squad moved forward, coming face-to-face with the Australians.

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Smith, positioned in the front line, moved into the path of his close friend and former teammate Grant, who couldn’t help but produce a smile.

Smith reached his hand out and the pair shared a hug before the teams moved into their respective halves to prepare for kick-off.

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The moment left Fox League’s commentators stunned as the elimination semi final got underway.

“Yes, they get as close as they can, how good is it,” Fox League’s Andrew Voss said.

“It’s amazing, the culture, the aggression, the boys are ready to go,” Leon Pryce added.

Grant and Smith weren’t the only teammates facing off in the World Cup epic with five Panthers players spread across both teams.

Five-eighth Cameron Munster also lined up against regular halves partner Jahrome Hughes, as Roosters guns James Tedesco and Joey Manu clash in a fullback battle for the ages.

The drama only escalated from their as the two teams played out a modern day test match epic with Australia winning through to the final on the back of a 16-14 victory.

Originally published as ‘How good is it’: Smith and Grant’s ultimate show of respect during epic haka

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