The English rugby players were fined 2,000 British pounds (over 2,300 euros) on Wednesday for passing the center line during the haka of opponent New Zealand in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup.

During the traditional war dance of the Maori, the English lined up on Saturday in a V-shape, with the outer players standing beyond the center line. The latter is forbidden according to the global rugby association.

After the game, captain Owen Farrell of England announced that the line-up during the New Zealanders' haka had been considered. "We didn't want to be in a straight line and just let them come at us," he said.

Steve Hansen, the national coach of New Zealand, finds the fine unnecessary. "I found their reaction fantastic. The haka is challenging and provokes a reaction. I thought it was brilliant and resourceful."

The English made a surprise in the semi-final by beating top favorite New Zealand 19-7. The 'All Blacks' won the title during the last two World Cups. South Africa is England's opponent in the final on Saturday.

The way the English rugby players took a position during the haka. (Photo: Getty Images)