Call For 'Overdone' Haka To Be Banned Before Matches
An Irish rugby writer has taken aim at the All Blacks performing the Haka, calling for it to be banned before matches.
With the Rugby World Cup ongoing in Japan, the defending champions New Zealand are known for their pre-match Haka and their fearsome playing during the game.
But Irish rugby writer Ewan MacKenna believes it has no place before a match, claiming the Haka gives the All Blacks a psychological and physical advantage.
"While it provides a psychological edge through self-inspiration and via an attempt at opponent intimidation," he said.
"It also provides a small physical edge as others are forced to stand still and go briefly cold."
The Irish writer also claims many of the All Blacks players have not been Maori, and therefore a "native" challenge is not appropriate.
"Instead, they descend from forefathers who were actually ruthless oppressors of natives," he said.
According to the Irishman, the Haka is "completely overdone" in all aspects of life.
"A New Zealand graduation or homecoming, a wedding afters or merely a boozed-up night out, it seems, can barely pass by without a YouTube video emerging of a man leaping about with all the authenticity of a Blackrock College conversation detailing both tillage methodology and livestock vaccination," he said.
MacKenna calls out New Zealand for their pre-match Haka, but Fiji, Samoa and Tonga also perform traditional challenges before a match.
What MacKenna doesn't mention, is Ireland's own pre-match tradition before home games in the Republic of Ireland.
While 'Ireland's Call' is used as the Irish national anthem at away games it is played alongside Amhrán na bhFiann', the Republic of Ireland's national anthem, when they at home.
One particularly momentous occasion of this was in 2007 at Croke Park, Dublin, when tears streamed down the face of many of the Irish players during both songs.
With Ireland's win over Scotland in the World Cup, they look set to avoid a match-up with the All Blacks in the quarterfinals.