Te Rauparaha’s War Cry

The all-Maori team first performed a haka against Surrey in Richmond in 1888 where they, according to theIllustrated London News, “cavorted about in ostrich-feather capes and tassell’d caps in a device of novelty and excitement for the sizeable gathering.” The all-white first All Blacks prefaced their immortal 1905 epic against Wales in Cardiff, reported the South Wales Daily News, “amidst a silence that could almost be felt, the Colonials stood centre-field and sang their weird war-cry.” In the Guardian’s sports blog this week, Frank Keating has queried the relevance of this sporting war dance writing that “the haka has had its day” and that “an occasional and once diverting wheeze has long passed its sell-by date.” New Zealand reporter Duncan Johnstone has a different perspective writing that before the All Blacks beat Wales 29–9 in Cardiff this week: “The haka was again sensational … The entire squad stood locked in an eyeball stare with their rivals for a full two minutes and referee Jonathan Kaplan tried in vain to budge them for the kickoff.” The All Blacks next play England in London for the final leg of their UK tour, just one victory away from their third Grand Slam

Tags: All Blacks  all-Maori team  Duncan Jonstone  Guardian (The)  Haka  Illustrated London News (The)  South Wales Daily News  Sports Blog (The)  Surrey  Wales