In the December edition of Rugby World we take a look inside the haka, studying it's history, the key players within it and what it's like to stand opposite the famous challenge. It wasn't always so famous and intimidating. Anyone remember this tame display in 1973?
That was the haka as it used to be. In December’s Rugby World, a study of the haka and how it is used by New Zealand turns up a few other interesting incidents, as it goes from half-hearted arm shaking to something more vigorous.
It is alleged that this incident, in 1989, as Ireland and the All Blacks faced off, sparked something. Willie Anderson and Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford certainly get into something here!
From then on, rugby history is littered with memorable haka moments. Remember this tête-à-tête between Norm Hewitt and Richard Cockerill, in 1997?
How about the Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll offering a response, under instruction from Maori elders? We all know what ended up happening…
The haka eventually changed, too. It used to be the Ka Mate, then they brought in the Kapa O Pango. You will have seen this version on the big occasions – Rugby World Cup finals and dalliances with their fiercest rivals.
Then there are the challenges in the face of the haka. We have seen Wales wait out the All Blacks, post haka and France have had their run-ins with them too. First at the ’07 Rugby World Cup and then in the 2011 World Cup final.
At the ’07 World Cup versus France:
The 2011 World Cup final: