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New Zealand, Tonga kick off Rugby World Cup

Bogdan Cristel / Reuters

Performers participate in the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, on Sept. 9.

Phil Walter / AFP - Getty Images

New Zealand All Blacks perform the haka before the opening match of the 2011 Rugby World Cup against Tonga at the Eden Park stadium on Sept. 9.

Gabriel Bouys / AFP - Getty Images

Tonga (in red) perform the sipi tau, their version of the haka, facing the All Blacks at Eden Park stadium on Sept. 9.

As I write, New Zealand's All Blacks are cruising toward victory over Tonga in the opening game of the Rugby World Cup.

Follow the tournament at its official website and read more about the origins of the haka, a traditional dance in the South Pacific islands.