ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Tuesday Apr 20, 2021

The Haka evolution at Rugby World Cups always fascinates fans

Whatever the stage and whoever the opponents, the All Blacks haka is perhaps the most recognisable and anticipated pre-match rituals in rugby, and it has evolved greatly over the years.

ADVERTISEMENT

And what bigger stage in the game than the Rugby World Cup. Some of the most exciting and dramatic matches have been disputed every four years and, more often than not, New Zealand has been front and centre of these enormous occasions.

The haka is steeped in Maori heritage and culture, but despite this, it has only become part of the All Blacks rugby tradition in recent times.

From its origins in the 1970s to the modern day, the haka has undergone a lot of evolution and change. And it’s become synonymous with the game.

It’s safe to say that the early hakas were something of a rushed mess, as often they were done without much choreography or timing, and they were rarely staged in the way they are today. To top it all off, the number of actual Maori players in the New Zealand squad was regrettably low as well, meaning that the passion, technique and general appearance of the haka left much to people’s desires.

WATCH: ‘It’s part of our culture’ says Haka performing South African university team

One of the key All Blacks players to revolutionise the haka in the 1980s was Wayne “Buck” Shelford, who made it far more regimental and frequent. The ritual was a big hit straight away and helped produce World Cup scenes such as the inaugural final in 1987 and subsequent spine-tingling moments in the 1991 semi-final and 1995 final.

As the haka evolved, the opposition towards it also increased. Not disdain for the culture by any means, more the challenge being accepted and reciprocated by facing teams. David Campese’s famous response to the haka came in the form of ignoring it altogether, while France and South Africa opted to front up and stand almost nose-to-nose with the All Blacks.

This pre-match intimidation, excitement and appreciation of Kiwi culture has helped transcend the game, and give the build-up to kick-off far more importance.

ADVERTISEMENT

Long may it continue!

Related Articles

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Manu Tuilagi will play a surprising role...

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Australia say they're the safe bet for RWC...

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Russell believes Scotland can become a Top...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Unique camera angle of match-winning Simmonds try showcases his ridiculous speed

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Incredible headed try is dominating the internet

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Rob Kearney career highlights ahead of Baa-Baas bow out

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Japan use 50:22 law variation to score excellent try against Scotland

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Two classic tries by Wales nemesis Kurtley Beale ahead of Cardiff return

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 7 HOURS AGO

    McGuigan suspended after that MMA scuffle against Saracens

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Brive fly-half sent off for kick to the head in Top 14

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    MMA training kicks in as McGuigan loses it against Saracens

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Every angle of Stuart Hogg's naughty trip during Exeter win

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Duncan McRae reveals his side to horrendous O'Gara punch-up on 2001 Lions tour

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Mathieu Bastareaud stretchered off just minutes into Toulon return

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Incredible headed try is dominating the internet

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Brilliant video demonstrates the flawless communication skills of Luke Pearce

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Rob Kearney career highlights ahead of Baa-Baas bow out

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Every angle of Stuart Hogg's naughty trip during Exeter win

View All

Funnies

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Lowe lets loose on critics in brilliant interview after EPIC All Blacks win

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Jarvo69 strikes again before Japan v Ireland clash

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Romain Poite's unique wit will be missed when he retires from Test rugby

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    JOURNEY OF JARVO69: Pitch invader makes headlines with outrageous All Blacks stunt

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Erasmus celebrates Boks win over All Blacks in his UNDERWEAR

View All

Amateur

  • 56 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 93 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    New Tongan Thor montage is five minutes of mesmerising hits and skills

  • 19 WEEKS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 40 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 46 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 47 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

View All