By Cristina Hodgson • 31 October 2019 • 8:25
ENGLAND has been hit with a £2,000 fine for their response to the haka ahead of the Rugby World Cup final, having been punished by World Rugby for crossing the halfway line before last Saturday’s semi-final victory over New Zealand.
A World Rugby statement said: “England have been fined for a breach of Rugby World Cup 2019 tournament rules relating to cultural challenges, which states that no players from the team receiving the challenge may advance beyond the halfway line.
The fine has triggered debate on various sides as to whether the All Blacks’ haka should be ultimately BANNED.
Surprisingly it seems that even some Kiwis want to see the end of the traditional battle cry.
The controversy over the haka-and England’s response to it-has led to a push from some for the pre-game tradition to be banned completely because it has a ‘negative’ impact on the game.
New Zealand sports commentator Chris Rattue claims the haka has been taking away the players focus and concentration and sapping their energy at the start of each match.
‘It is time to consider letting the haka go or placing it somewhere else, in the name of winning,’ he wrote in the New Zealand Herald.
On the other side, Irish rugby writer, Ewan MacKenna, sparked outrage earlier this month claiming the haka gave New Zealand an unfair advantage.
Former England hooker Brian Moore even said he was ‘bored’ with it.
Sports columnist Kevin Kevin Norquay fired back, defending the haka as a ‘national treasure’.
The debate goes back and forth with teams and spectators taking different sides.
What is clear is that the All Blacks haka, negatively or positively, adds to the pre-match drama. It is arguably the most famous of the Maori war dance, only time will tell if it remains or not.
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