In the rugby world there s a colourful act that some teams do, it is a challenge and a link to their heritage and it puts a super zing in rugby.
In Fiji yesterday the Junior All Blacks confronted Fiji on their home patch, they stood there looking them in the eyes and delivered a Haka that would send a chill down many spines across the galaxy. Being in the middle with them the intent and psyched look in their eyes let you know they were ready for a game of footy, the gaze didn’t deviate off their opponents and plenty of challenge was delivered via an ancient form- wavelengths. An old Maori friend of mine Taane Thomas once told me “When we perform the Haka all our ancestors are right here behind us”. In Lautoka yesterday there was a heap of might behind them.
The great part of Island clashes is that a challenge is received and it is responded to, Fiji launched into their version the Cibi. It too is an eye full and it lets you know these boys are here for business purposes, not a holiday.
A challenge is laid out and how well it is done is a intricate part of how the team will perform, yesterday the Junior All Blacks won the early battle with a power packed Haka, this led on to see them romp home in the test match.
Over the years many teams from nay cultures have tried to combat a Haka or challenge, some say it is a waste as not all teams have the opportunity; they obviously need to go and make a cup of tea or something instead. Those that stay tuned in are always in for a treat and it is a moving part of our game. The Welsh sing, the Aussies try to dilute its power by playing Waltzing Matilda, the French & Argentineans put all their might into the national anthem, and all these actions work in their own ways to get the team fired up for action.
Fiji performed a somewhat subdued Cibi this time, but the reality tablet of the big loss to the Junior All Blacks will ensure that come kickoff on Tuesday that the full throttle will be hit for the pre match goodness, they will be wanting this to overflow and pour skill and flair all over their 80 minute performance too.