An Irish rugby writer has made an extraordinary call to ban the Haka.
According to Ewan MacKenna, the “Haka gives New Zealand an unfair advantage and needs to stop.”
In an article for Pundit Arena, MacKenna asks why officials are still “pandering to the dance”.
“That’s unfortunate as New Zealand are justifiably big-headed enough without a massaging of their already massive egos,” MacKenna wrote.
“Yet even World Rugby have it in their rules that to not stand on your own 10-metre line and watch a bunch stick out their tongues and slap their thighs is worthy of a fine and a telling off.”
MacKenna says the Haka has “been ruthlessly exploited and commercialised and ultimately cheapened.”
“There’s a practical reason why the Haka shouldn’t happen as, while it provides a psychological edge through self-inspiration and via an attempt at opponent intimidation, it also provides a small physical edge as others are forced to stand still and go briefly cold,” he wrote.
“There’s another reason too though as there is a huge lack of self-awareness about this. Again there are those who’ll say it’s native and it is to some, but the majority of New Zealand players haven’t been Maori. Instead, they descend from forefathers who were actually ruthless oppressors of natives.”
Brian Moore, a former England international, agreed that the Haka has grown tired.
“I’m getting bored of the Haka now,” he wrote on Twitter.
“It’s a part of wider Kiwi culture and very important in many different ways. Perform it if you want, but opposing sides and fans should be allowed to do what they want in response.”
I'm getting bored of the Haka now.— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) September 21, 2019
The haka - it's a part of wider Kiwi culture and very important in many different ways. Perform it if you want, but opposing sides and fans should be allowed to do what they want in response.— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) September 21, 2019
Wallabies sweat on Reece Hodge hearing
Meanwhile, Michael Cheika is confident officials won't want to make an example of Wallabies winger Reece Hodge at his judicial hearing, although Wales coach Warren Gatland has playfully hinted he disagrees.
Hodge's case will be heard on Wednesday afternoon and Cheika believes a case can be mounted to ensure the winger is free to play in Sunday's key Rugby World Cup pool game against the Welsh.
"Mate, I'm not planning for failure," Cheika said.
"I'll plan to succeed there and then we'll work it out from there."
Gatland, renowned for entering verbal jousts before Tests, carefully suggested Hodge may be up against it following his tackle on Peceli Yato during Australia's win over Fiji on Saturday.
"It looks like he has made contact there to me," Gatland told journalists.
"That's not my decision, the judiciary needs to make the call on that."
Hodge's citing for a dangerous tackle has sparked widespread debate and his fate will attract global interest.
Those that believe a red card should have been issued now feel a ban is warranted for Hodge, whose tackle didn't appear to involve Hodge's arms and concussed Yato.
However, there is a contrasting view espoused by Cheika that the nature of the tackle is hard to determine and isn't a "clear and obvious" red card offence, which is something that can now be challenged at the judiciary.