rugby world cup 2019

Kiwis bristle as beloved haka cops Rugby World Cup flak

30 Comments
By Neil SANDS

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"It provides a psychological edge through self-inspiration and via an attempt at opponent intimidation," MacKenna wrote.

God forbid giving yourself self inspiration before the start of the game...

As a Kiwi has already said. Suck it up buttercup!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How about we ban Fiji's, Tonga's & Samoa's Hakas at the same time? Im sure the fans will love that. While were at it, why not ban the singing in the stands, that's an unfair advantage that intimidates teams...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Should only be done in the land of origin.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Wellington-based stuff.co.nz columnist Kevin Norquay said the haka was "a uniquely New Zealand statement to the outside world" and its removal would be a loss for international rugby.

Nope. As stated above, Tonga and Samoa have their own cultural hakas.

If a team what to sing and dance before the match, let them. I don't think that their opponents should be obliged to be a part of it though, if they want to ignore it they should not be censured. I think England should use a familiar, age old cultural gesture against opponents before a game. Rumour has it, it originated at the battle of Agincourt.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The Haka is a great tradition, but the issue is the 'fashion changing' versions that are invented almost every season. If the Haka carries such traditional heritage, why has it been allowed to change so much?

I specifically dislike the version that carried the throat slit gesture, which has since disappeared. Generally I believe in it's tradition - but it should have been kept traditional.

If it has changed so much and continues to change then world rugby should throw it out because that bears no relevance to the cultural argument for it being there in the first place.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They made it part of the “culture” in the 1970s. Obviously it had been part of the Maori culture for decades but the white Europeans took it on in a PC gesture of togetherness.

I still think the White guys look pretty silly. Its not their culture, whatever they say. A little like having the British and Iris Lions do a Scottish gig.

After warming up the other team has to stand still and “politely” watch the performance, thus giving the All Blacks and other Hakka dancers an unfair advantage.

Other teams should continue their warm ups or just laugh at the silly tongue poking and arm slapping.

Just play the game!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't think that their opponents should be obliged to be a part of it though, if they want to ignore it they should not be censured.

Or they could respond like Ireland have done before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkm9G2_2-xQ

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think it's a great part of the game, (as are the Siva Tau, Cibi and Sipi Tau) if a tad overdone. In a tournament such as the world cup, maybe first game, and if they make the finals. On tour, first game. At home, they can do it as often or as little as they like.

As to the other teams, they should be free to do whatever they wish. Face the haka, do warm-ups, offer their own challenge, team huddle, etc.

All that said, this argument comes up whenever the ABs are doing well. It's getting pretty tired.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Risky, nobody has raised this because the AB's are doing well. Because they are always doing well. The All Blacks win because they have superb teams. Not because of their Haka. But the arguments are still valid.

Essentially world rugby is allowing Pacific Nations to do a war dance before kickoff. It hands a slight advantage. A warmup or a team huddle is not a war dance.

My own argument is that the traditional Haka has been left way behind with the newer aggressive versions. And so the cultural argument for having it is no longer valid.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tigers,

Find an article saying any challenge besides the haka gives an unfair advantage. I don't think you'll find many-unless Samoa, Tonga or Fiji become the world's number one of course. That the haka gets so much more attention is simply sour grapes.

A warmup or a team huddle is not a war dance.

Not my point, and you know it. Other teams could do a war dance, as you call it, if they wanted to. That it is not part of their culture isn't the Pacific Islanders' problem.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

By way of compromise have them do it at the end of the pitch under the sticks facing their own fans (or opponents fans). That way the opponents can get on with their stuff up the other end.

Or the other team could use them as training cones for a minute or two.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Risky, it certainly isn't the Pacific Islanders problem that the rest don't have a Haka. But your 'sod the rest of them' response also negates any defence you have. Which means if it is an unfair advantage you don't care.

Let's be honest the All Blacks Haka is of material value to the shirt sponsors and the tv companies. If you watch the over-the-top footage they endorse it. Therefore it bears no relevance to the cultural argument for using it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To be fair, all teams should get an equal chance to do something similar from their own countries, either at the same time, or shortly before/after. It is unfair that only a few teams get to do this.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To be fair, all teams should get an equal chance to do something similar from their own countries, either at the same time, or shortly before/after. It is unfair that only a few teams get to do this.

Like what? Many countries do not have similar traditions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

England squad can stick a pole in the ground and do a spot of Morris Dancing and the Scots could do their Sword Dance. The Welsh could probably use their longbows and riddle the opposition with arrows, that'll slow 'em down.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Para, you got there ahead of me, though you don’t need a pole for Morris dancing (that’s the May pole dance) just a few hefty sticks! That should intimidate the opposition.

I agree the opposition doesn’t have to stand and watch it, continuing their warm up should be the norm. Alternately on the basis of fare ness the AB should stand unmoving after for as long as the Hakka took?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't like a whole stadium drowning out everything with Sweet Charriot. But hey go for it. Its entertainment and a right to express. For what its worth ,there is no one traditional haka in NZ and never was. Different iwi (tribes) have different versions. Its fluid and evolving. Do what the Aussies used to do ..watch in training gear and then go back to dead ball line and change. I get it that because NZ usually win games that you would resent anything to do with them but for fs sake stop whinging! Its a sad look.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Tigers,

You’re being obtuse. There is no rule that says teams have to stand quietly and watch the haka. They can do whatever they want during it, and many teams do.

https://theblitzdefence.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/the-best-and-worst-responses-to-the-haka/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One of the silliest rugby thread I have ever read.

RM, don't bother/waste your time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why is everyone "forced to stand still"? It's not the national anthem of a country. Just keep warming up.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I remember when David Campese was playing for Australia. Every time the All Blacks did their haka, he would be at the other end of the field by himself, fooling around, kicking the ball up in the air and catching it, just having fun. He never even took notice of the haka.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The haka is an unfair advantage, definitely giving the All Blacks are big chance to psyche themselves up in front of the opposition.

However, I'm guessing that most coaches don't know the actual circumstances in regards to the approval of the on-field haka. Any coach has the right to refuse the haka prior to a test match in accordance with World Rugby regulations. They can ask the referee to start play without the performance of the haka prior to the players entering the field. The referee then informs the teams wishing to perform the haka of the refusal. It's as simple as that.

If I was the coach of an opposing team facing the haka, I would definitely refuse the performance, regardless which country we're in. Any act to take down the mood of the All Blacks would definitely be a bonus to an opposing team.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I remember when David Campese was playing for Australia. Every time the All Blacks did their haka, he would be at the other end of the field by himself, fooling around, kicking the ball up in the air and catching it, just having fun. He never even took notice of the haka.

Remember the whole team ignoring it and then getting the biggest hiding they ever had? I do. They haven’t ignored it like that since .

Maybe there is a psychological advantage but there’s also an element of respect. Imagine being the first team in recent times that the ABs respect so little a haka isn’t performed. That would kind of suck.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Haka is a part of the game . Scoring tries is part of the game.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Zenji - yup. It's part of the game. It's been around almost as long as the game itself. Players look forward to facing it. If you face the All Blacks' Haka, then you've made it as a player.

If I was the coach of an opposing team facing the haka, I would definitely refuse the performance, regardless which country we're in. Any act to take down the mood of the All Blacks would definitely be a bonus to an opposing team.

@JamesTCL - I've seen this happen once. I don't remember the circumstances exactly (as in why is wasn't allowed). The All Blacks performed their Haka anyway... in the changing room. And then they proceeded to destroy their opposition. They were more fired up than ever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rugby is a sport not a war!

There is no place for such a primitive act (the Haka) in sport.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rugby is a sport not a war!

There is no place for such a primitive act (the Haka) in sport.

What make the Haka primitive? It's no more primitive than 30 men running around a field tackling each other. It's now a part of the game.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Regardless of who originally invented haka, rugby haka (specifically the Kapa o Pango) as the world knows it today was composed by Derek Lardelli and performed by the All Blacks since 2005.

Because "national tradition is an invention" (Richard White 1981), any nation can create its own "haka" as long as it is different from Derek Lardelli's version.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If like you say, it’s been cheapened, does it really give an advantage? I’m not so sure. To my mind, it just a nod to their cultural past, same as Samoa or Fiji

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not a rugby watcher, nor a kiwi. So I have no horse in the game.

I think the haka is cool. I like watching it.

My unbiased opinion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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