Monday, 24 October 2011

The Haka

So New Zealand finally triumph at the Rugby World Cup, but only by the slenderest of margins.  What value was The Haka to that narrow win?

Haka - All Black style
Is it time for cricket to incorporate the Haka?  Fantasy Bob thinks not.  He has always considered that despite its fine theatricality, the Haka is a highly dubious feature in a professional sport.

Even if the Haka does not intimidate the receiving side or bind the dancing side closer (and if they did not think it did one or both of these would the All Blacks really continue with it?), it implies that one team has some superiority over the other which gives them the right to assert this pseudo traditional challenge at them. 
New Zealanders get very huffy about any suggestion that the Haka is not a genuine tradition but showed a fine respect for tradition when they banned bag-pipes from being played at Scotland's games.  However FB does not think that the Maoris traditionally played rugby before the 20th Century, nor does he think that the teams who first imposed it on the opposition were anything other than raw boned white sheep farmers largely of Scottish extraction who first took the game to the land of the White Cloud.  It is maybe a wonder that they did not use the Highland Fling as their ritual challenge.

Haka - English style
Other teams should be allowed to ignore the Haka if they choose and not be accused of disrespect when they do so.  Or, better still, they should be allowed to develop a response - they should assert the right to reply.

This would allow the English team to respond to the All Black challenge with a suitably blood curdling Morris Dance.  That would show them.

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