Aus warned on haka high jinks

2010-09-10 08:19

Sydney - The Wallabies have been warned that disrespecting the All Blacks' haka could result in a fine from the International Rugby Board.

The ARU was recently forced to pay a £1000 ($1677) fine to Rugby World Cup Limited after the Wallaroos, Australia's women's rugby team, advanced on the Black Ferns mid-haka before their World Cup pool match in England last month.

Shortly after the match, won by New Zealand 32-5, the ARU received a letter from the Women's World Cup tournament director, based at the IRB headquarters in Dublin, explaining that the conduct of the Wallaroos was in breach of tournament rules.

The Australian women were found guilty of moving several metres towards the haka. IRB tournament rules dictated that the team facing the haka must stay at least 10 metres on its own side of the halfway line, but the Wallaroos made the mistake of walking beyond that line.

There was also a warning that if the fine wasn't paid, or if there were any repetition of such behaviour while the haka was being conducted, the ARU was liable to find itself at the centre of a misconduct case.

The Herald understands that there is no reference in the SANZAR tournament laws to player behaviour during the haka, but the warning is clear that in future IRB tournaments, such as next year's World Cup in New Zealand, the haka must be treated with respect.

It has been made clear by international rugby's ruling body that while New Zealand rugby teams lay down the challenge, opposition teams are expected to stand motionless and make no reaction.

This is far from the first time the haka has caused problems between the two teams.

The 1996 Wallabies upset many New Zealanders when before the Wellington Test they decided to turn their backs on the haka and instead warmed up at the other end of Athletic Park. The tactic, which did not have the full support of the Australian players that day but was driven by team management, didn't work as the Wallabies suffered their biggest loss to the All Blacks - a 43-6 thrashing.

In 2006, the then Wallabies coach John Connolly led a call for a ban on one version of the haka, which involved the New Zealand players making a gesture of throat-slitting. Connolly described the throat-slitting motion as irresponsible, with its ''murderous'' connotations sending the wrong message to society. All Blacks coach Graham Henry reacted by calling the Australian stance ''arrogant'' and ''pathetic''.

At least former Wallabies back-rower, Sam Scott-Young, took a more humorous approach in 1992 when he kissed and winked at his New Zealand opponents during the haka.

Rugby Heaven

  • na - 2010-09-10 08:33

    What a load of BS! During the singing of the anthems respect is shown but do me a favour we now have to respect the haka. Bunch of clowns - just get on with what you are being paid to do - play rugby!!

  • Aussie Ausbourne - 2010-09-10 08:35

    They should've warned the South-African supporters as well. Their total disregard of the haka borders on ignorance. Don't they know that if 50,000 supporters boo the haka it just motivates the All Blacks?

  • Me - 2010-09-10 08:35

    What I find pathetic is that there are even rules on how to face the haka and that the other team has no choice but to stand there and face them.

  • Nick - 2010-09-10 08:36

    Are the Kiwis the gods of Rugby? I hope someone tells them to piss-off.

  • Chris G - 2010-09-10 08:39

    Nothing looks more stupid than a team that smiles and laughs at the All Blacks while they do the haka and then goes on to get thrashed. The only way to counter the haka is to accept the challenge and then go beat the All Blacks.

  • Pets - 2010-09-10 08:39

    Sounds like more special rules to suite the IRB's blue eyed boys!!!!! The best Haka ever was when James Small walked towards Jonah Lomu, pushed the ball into his chest and said "Lets play rugby"

  • Grant - 2010-09-10 08:41

    Pathetic, you must stand there and show respect while the cuss and curse and make all kinds of obcsene gestures towards you. Again it just shows how the ABs are the blue eyed boys of the IRB especially Paddy! I say take them on and get amoungst them.

  • Deon2 - 2010-09-10 08:50

    Why face them then...look the other way. Its rubbish any way. New Zeeland still running the IRB.

  • Bob - 2010-09-10 08:52

    Funny how an archaic, almost stoneage intimidation ritual is even given so much reverence. So if the haka is intended to intimidate the opposition, then other teams should be able to counter that how ever they see fit. It is a little imbalanced if the haka is untouchable and other teams cannot counter the blatantly imbalanced intimidation opportunity afforded to only one team in the match, and that team happens to be the All Blacks. Not very fair is it. I say each team playing them in the future should simply turn their backs on them, or let them do their haka before they come onto the pitch. But no, I am sure the All Blacks will insist on having the other team facing them on the pitch when they do their kaka.

  • clark-Indonesia - 2010-09-10 08:53

    The Haka is old hat and should be discontinued , it has nothing to do with Modern day rugby , may be each national team then should have a dance , England , could do a May pole thingy , the Scots the highland fling , the welsh sing a song , the Irish a jig , the Australians , something with a kangaroo, Saffers ?? the opportunities are endless, but let us get rid of the Haka, throat slitting , dick pointing pantomime. Last week end (4th Sept) watching the game on Aus Broadcasting, I think it was delayed, the start of the games did not even bother with the SA or Aus national anthems or team sheets .

  • infogur - 2010-09-10 08:58

    All I hear is beware anybody that is against NZ the slightly greys, rugby gods, IRB will slap you over the fingers. Apparently the slightly greys can't fend for themselves and need all the help they can get.

  • The Shark - 2010-09-10 08:58

    Yet Another example of the IRB bending over backwards to please the ABs. they're allowed to do the haka in an attempt to intimidate the opposition, who are then fined if they in any way try to give the ABS some of their own medicine and try to put some pressure on them. I see nothing wrong with advancing on the ABs haka. I still enjoy watching Kobus Wiese fronting up to Jonah before the 1995 WC final. :-)

  • Kevin - 2010-09-10 09:01

    They should be referred to as the Untouchables of World Rugby instead of the ALL BLACKS.Don't diss them or face the wrath of IRB etc etc.Pathetic!!! It's about gamemanship iceholes and a little intimidation only excites parties and puts bums in chairs at games!!! More bums=more cash which inevitably results in better bottomlines.No wonder no one respects them even though they play decent rugby!!!

  • Jon - 2010-09-10 09:02

    How childish!!! I have never read such rubbish in my life. Do the AB's own rugby worlwide?? The only thing arrogant and pathetic is Graham Henry and his team!

  • spindoc - 2010-09-10 09:03

    what utter rubbish!!!Although I enjoy watching the men in black acting like morons they cannot be afforded special treatment just because they choose to do the Haka.The IRB are making special laws just for the All Blacks..."team facing the haka must stay at least 10 metres on its own side of the halfway line" about the team playing the Springboks must stay on there own try line for 80 minutes after the whistle has blown???? ..then again what if the opposing team refuses to stand and watch the morons sticking out there tongues and chooses to go sit down??

  • AB Supporter - 2010-09-10 09:05

    The Haka is great rugby tradition and any Rugby nation that does not respect it must not be allowed ever to play against the All Blacks. I am of the oppinion that its the media stirring the pot here.I cant believe that any true rugby player wants it to be stopped or disrespected. Away with any nation that does not respect it. Let SA do a gum boot dance and the Aussies do the walce. Go All Blacks you good thing.

  • Dragonpig - 2010-09-10 09:05

    So they can advance to the halfway line and oposing teams have to stand 10m in their own half? I've seen the All Blacks advance right up to oponents faces. Once again the IRB kissin g the @ss of the Kiwi's. Think back to the world cup where they went right up to France and came up to about 1m from Sebastian Shabal. All Blacks can dance on their own 10m line then if oponents must stand on theirs and have no reaction. Bakkies blowing them kisses and telling them how cute their dance is makes a pretty funny sight though

  • Spartan - 2010-09-10 09:07

    NZ should not be allowed to do the Haka, its not even their tradition & why are Aus threatening to disrespect it, because both they & others are sick of NZ using this & refs bias to gain an advantage. Either all teams do a war dance before a game or it should be scrapped. I think that Graham Henry is pathetic, if you need to rely phsycing the opposite team out before the game in order to give you the confidence to win, then you do not deserve to be call the no. 1 team in the world.

  • Deon - 2010-09-10 09:10

    What if everybody turned around and mooned the Kiwis while they do the haka. Is that also in breach of the law

  • GeePMB - 2010-09-10 09:10

    Just proves that the AB's have the IRB firmly in their camp! Remember when the Boks advanced on the Haka (think it was during one of the World Cups) and when David Cmpese was sstill playing, he ignored the haka and kicked balls into the crowd aand afterwards was heard to say " You've seen one haka, you've seen them all". whilst the Haka is a good part of rugby, the opposition team should have the right to respond, they are challenging the opposition and when challenged, you don't just "stand motionless".

  • The Flying Spaghetti Monster - 2010-09-10 09:10

    Oh please, this is pathetic! More confirmation, as if it were needed, that the All Blacks get preferential treatment. While I respect their right to perform the haka, they too should respect the right of the opposition to react in any way they please to their staged act of pre-match intimidation.

  • Jabu - 2010-09-10 09:11

    Eish,I wonder when our white rugby bosses are going to allow the Proteas (aka Springboks) to do their own "haka",an impi dance maybe?It will do so much for the transformation of SA rugby and will also become one the great spectacles in world rugby,just like the NZ haka!

  • kevin - 2010-09-10 09:13

    I really dont understand why the International rugby teams of the world have to watch respectfully while the All Blacks ( and the Islanders) prance around in front of them, threatening all sorts of idiotic action. Why do they have to stand there, awe struck and spell bound? Its ridiculous. And the haka is sheer arrogance under the circumstances

  • @ Chris G - 2010-09-10 09:13

    Totally right. The Haka is a sporting tradition unique to rugby and, as such, should be respected by players and spectators alike. As you said - nothing more pathetic than laughing off the challenge and getting your arses kicked.

  • @ Aussie Ausbourne - 2010-09-10 09:14

    The SA fans did not boo the All Blacks during the hakka - they sang ole-ole, get it right. I love it when a team smiles while watching the hakka, whether they win or lose later....that smile just tells them how pathetic they really look.

  • Lewsi - 2010-09-10 09:18

    The morons at Soccer City also showed disrespect towards the haka with their monotonous 'ole ole ole' (whats new?), booing and jeering as well. I was so ashamed and embarrassed to be a South African on that day. No class I tell you. No class.

  • Justin - 2010-09-10 09:18

    Why do other rugby teams have to bow down to the Haka? As a rugby fan, I love the haka, its great, an awesome spectacle. But i think that opposing teams should be free to do whatever they want during the show. Just maybe it gives the Kiwis a 2 or 3% advantage. Why should they have an advantage at the start of every contest?

  • Master Gee - 2010-09-10 09:18

    "It has been made clear by international rugby's ruling body that while New Zealand rugby teams lay down the challenge, opposition teams are expected to stand motionless and make no reaction." Why the special treatment for the AB. They can lay down the challenge but opposition must just stand there.Already giving the AB an advantage. Surely opposition should be allowed to confront AB like Kobus did in '95 Final. Gets the blood flowing when you see your team front up. IRB are turning the game into a game for wusses. Abother point is that in no other sport does the ref tell the guys how to play whilst game is on. All you hear is ref instructing players as if they haven't played the game before. Ref should just blow when offence is made and soon enough players will learn and game should flow.

  • Juan - 2010-09-10 09:19

    the Haka looks more like a satanic ritual to me. All they need to complete the picture is to slaughter a cattle and drink the blood. Why any descent person would like the haka to be respected borders on insanity.

  • StormersSupporter - 2010-09-10 09:19

    Geez, wat is the problem? It is one of their traditions? I think it should be respected. Carrying on the way the SA spectators did was a disgrace. If we had some age old tradition, we would demand respect for it, so why not award the All blacks the respect they deserve? People are way to petty. Let them have their haka. It also motivates our team to play them. So leave it be and respect it

  • Jonesie - 2010-09-10 09:19

    The more the guys boo and the rugby players dont accept the challange, they will get trashed, so face them,and take the game to the ALL BLACKS. GO KIWI'S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeff - 2010-09-10 09:21

    Jeez guys, get over yourselfs.... Im a huge 'bok supporter (through thick and thin), and the Haka is one of the most important facets in the history of rugby union. It is as iconic as test rugby gets, and if facing the Haka doesnt motivate you, then you have no place on a test ground. If you disrespect it, you deserve to get thrashed. If you intimidated, go play netball. I personally know of a number of current/ex players who couldnt wait to face the Haka, as the boyhood dream of facing the All Blacks. Long may the Haka stay, and long may the 'boks continue to face it

  • Eisch - 2010-09-10 09:23

    Nice "tradition" from the occult religion the locals praticed. Cursing their enemies before the war. Hope all listening to it are safe - including spectators.

  • Pieter - 2010-09-10 09:25

    Why dont the IRB give them a 15 point headstart while they are at it. Will all this babying of the All Blacks really make for a succesful world cup in NS next year? I hope they choke again (and preferably on the Haka)

  • Verno - 2010-09-10 09:27

    WT$ ...!! Come on man, this is BS ! next thing you know we have to say Sir to the AB's....please paddy, what next ?!? the AB's should piss-off ...clowns !!

  • Nixon - 2010-09-10 09:30

    Come one guys, we have to respect this wonderful tradition, because without the Haka I would'nt have a chance to go to the bathroom or a grab a drink.So lets try and be sensitive.

  • Rowan - 2010-09-10 09:36

    This is just rediculous...!...rules on how to face the Haka?...what next I ask...the All Blacks caper and grimace and the rest of world rugby is instructed as to how to behave towards it...unacceptable. I accept that it is part of the tradition of rugby, fair enough but that other rugby countires are instructed as to how they should react towards it is taking it to far. Let a team facing the Haka react as they see fit. The consequences will probably be dire if they do not show some respect at least...but let it be the choice of a rugby team as to how they face the challenge...

  • Arno - 2010-09-10 09:36

    My guess is that all you wet-behind-the-ear nit-wits disrespecting one of the cornerstone traditions of rugby, are the arrogant ones. It comes down to values, give me a good reason why I should not kill you. There ain't. Its a social value, but hell I'm preaching to the choir.

  • AB Supporter @ Bok Clowns - 2010-09-10 09:40

    What a silly bunch of sad girls you are. Rice was so right when she called the boks f*****s. Maybe you should ask your f**** bok team if they want it stopped or is it just the silly girls you are that are been girlish. So what if the AB are treated as gods, they sure as hell deserve it. Not like the boks that think they can rock up and win just because they are african and the rest of the world must feel sorry for them. Go All Blacks you good thing. Thanks Paddy.

  • LoopBok - 2010-09-10 09:40

    Yeah, no favoritism towards the All Blacks indeed, IRB. May anyone but the ABs win the World Cup next year.

  • joey - 2010-09-10 09:41

    Nonsense - Why should it be respected? They are the only flippen team that's wasting time with this s**t!!!

  • Pietie007 - 2010-09-10 09:42

    What a load of crap!!! Anybody still wondering if the All Blacks are being favoured by the IRB??? If the haka is part of tradition, why are they allowed to change it and have a new version?? Bulls*##t!!!! Another interresting thing, last night I saw a re-run of the 2007 WC Final on Supersport. Who was the ref? Alain Rolland, the same idiot who blatantly blew in favour of the All Blacks when the boks played them in New Zealand. I guess he is campaning for the whistle in the 2011 final?!? That was properbly his audition to gaurentee that idiot Patty O'Brien a All Black WC. The IRB is a joke!!!

  • FP - 2010-09-10 09:42

    Whilst I respect tradition this is just too infantile. Just now the IRB are going to instruct all of us to sing the NZ anthem and hail king Richie. Although it's the right of the AB's to perform, it's also the right of the opposition to ignore it. Everybody already shows respect to each others National Anthem before hand.

  • Anderjan - 2010-09-10 09:43

    Unadulterate, self edifying, crap, intimidation is part of the game if you want to apply tree hugging bunny loving principles to this type of sport then I suggest do it in the forest of Alaska..not allowed to react to an anthem which in its most basic form is a call to war...f****g “you must curtail your response beuracrates” w****s are disrespecting the basic ethos of the sport. Haka must stay, response to Haka must stay lets play rugby a*****s.

  • @ AB Supporter - 2010-09-10 09:44

    Not playing the AB's again is a fantastic idea!! Who wants to play an arrogant bunch of whinging sissies building their (success???) on the back of a spineless IRB. Go home idiot - you may think you are the greatest gift to rugby but ive got news for you... you are not well liked, you are at best mediocre, and you dance like faeries. Enjoy!!

  • What a bunch of moaners - 2010-09-10 09:45

    Every team has its own tradition, whether its doing the haka or having a prayer in the changing rooms. So apparently no respects the tradition any more. You are such a bunch of clowns. Just cause you got your @***s handed to you in the tri-nations now you are all moaning. Take a loss, dont whine about it. Every team needs to learn from its losses, but apparently you guys just love to moan. A true Connoisseur of the game would have accepted the lost and said we would need to improve our rugby. All i see is patriotic people that has no clue what rugby or any sport is about!! Take a lesson from the loss and build on it, stop whining about traditions

  • Gaz - 2010-09-10 09:50

    The Haka rocks - I love it, in fact I'm sad if I miss it. It's rugby tradition and should be respected! The All Blacks (or should we say 'Southern Pacific Islands 15') use the Haka to mentaly ready themselves for the game and is fantastic to watch!

  • Going South - 2010-09-10 09:50

    Haka is a good 'war dance' Why dont we do something within our countires special African flavour! We can dress in banana skins and burn tires while toytoying.

  • DesJay - 2010-09-10 09:50

    For sh*ts sake the haka is not the AB'S national anthem. They curse and cuss their oponents which is DISRESPECTFUL but the other teams must politley smile and say thank-you ? The AB WILL NOT WIN THE 2011 RWC.

  • neille - 2010-09-10 10:06

    @#$% the haka and #@$% the all blacks ! i suggest that the aussie dance the macarena while they are doing their song and dance !