November 20, 2004

On the warpath: For over a century, the New Zealand rugby union team has been laying down a challenge to it's opponents before every match in the form of the Haka (240k .mov video). A fearsome Maori dance, the Haka is intended to scare the opposition into submission. Here you can learn how to perform it for yourself.
  • MonkeyFilter: Tenei te ta ngata puhuru huru nana nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra.
  • Great post, afx237vi. Novice question: what is the difference between rugby league and rugby union?
  • 3) League has 13 players, union has 15. 2) In league the team with the ball is allowed to be tackled 6 times by their opponents before they have to kick the ball or hand possession to the other team. There is no tackle-limit in union. 3) In league, tries are worth 4 points, conversions 2, penalties 2, and drop-goals 1. In union, it's 5, 2, 2 and 2 respectively. League is more of a structured game, with line-outs and scrums not really playing much part - it's more about running with the ball. In union, the set-plays are of more significance, with the games being won by the forwards in the ruck and maul area, the line-out and the scrum. But at the end of the day, both games are about getting the ball over the try-line. A fan of one code can easily watch the other code and understand what is going on and enjoy the match.
  • Oh by the way, I should add that almost every New Zealand sports team does their own version of the Haka... the All Blacks just happen to be the most famous. And that first 3) in my above comment should be a 1), obviously.
  • Thanks!
  • Gee, I don't know... After watching that I had to change mah Depends... I don' wanna plah no New Zealandah's in Football no mah...
  • The Haka is great. Uncontestably. I am the hairy man!
  • it does look kinda... amusing on the telly tho. although being haka'd at by 15 six-foot walls of primally honed and violent man-meat... oh dear... *hides*
  • It's even cooler when you get another team that challenges the haka - earlier this year the ABs played the new Pacific Islands international squad and they did just that. It was awesome.
  • Here's where to get All Blacks rugby gear. I'm going to be wearing mine soon. And I live in Seattle!
  • Does this sort of thing happen in NZ?
  • It doesn't even happen at the men's rugby games. Ugh.
  • They are really starting to crack down on any type of abuse of officials at the moment. I play rugby here in Australia and that has been a big issue the last two seasons. We are starting to see referees march teams more frequently (giving the other side a penalty and advancing them 10 metres)for backchat/arguing and continually calling out infringements rather than letting the referee just do his job. Last year a guy was banned from rugby for a year for grabbing a referee to get his attention. This is not such a bad thing. I hate watching soccer and seeing the way players scream, intimidate and argue with referees. They would be penalised or sent from the field if they did that in our rugby competition. there needs to be some respect there.
  • > Umaga handbag sold i've been following this story. remarkable. cc-camera footage is apparently being auctioned too.
  • The football team of my old high school's big cross-town rival does the haka before every (American-style) football game. They ended up winning state (in Texas, high school football tends to be something of a religion -- see the movie Friday Night Lights -- so winning the state championship in the 5A (biggest school) division makes you into a little high school god-let). They declared it the "Year of the Haka." The school has a pretty big population of people with Pacific Islander decent, as well as pretty good African-American and Latin populations, and there have been a few incidents of racism there, so the school's pretty happy to tout the harmonious diversity of the football team. You can see a few clips of the team doing the haka here if you scroll down to the "Chevrolet inside High School Football Video" link (it wouldn't let me link directly for some reason.
  • Only vague amusement here. No ire. Apparently there's a commercial currently in Italy (or France, I don't remember offhand) with women performing the haka -- I think it was a car ad. That's raised more ire, as it's a cultural no-no for women to do the haka.
  • I'd like to see them frenchies take on Big Dog.
  • And that coach ends up with his face in the smiling naked man's crotch?