Monday, September 5, 2011

How To Respond To The Haka

The Rugby World Cup begins this week in the land of the long white cloud. I love rugby union and I played the game for 25 years. Despite living in a footie and rugby league town I still love watching rugby union, especially the Southern Hemisphere teams. 
I used to be a fan of the All Blacks haka but as time has gone on I'm much less convinced of its utility and I hate the throat cutting haka, kapa o pango, which is really over the top. They don't put up with this sort of thing in FIFA run soccer matches but in rugby union, rugby league and a few other sports the opposing team is forced to wait around while the All Blacks perform their ritual challenge. If you're from Fiji, Samoa or Tonga you've got a haka of your own to answer the All Blacks with but everyone else has to just stand there and bide their time until its over. Personally I like what the great Willy Anderson did as captain of Ireland two decades ago, but he received so much negative press for his move that no one (to my knowledge) has tried anything like it since. It's a shame, I hope that in this rugby world cup someone shows the All Blacks that we all have our own traditions that are worthy of respect.