In a desperate bid to claw back column inches from New Team Emirates Zealand, the NZRnoFU has issued a statement saying All Black teams will no longer perform the haka before each and every international footy game.
“It’s had its day,” team publicist Col Effler-Ayres told WWNews earlier this evening. “The boys feel a bit silly prancing around out there while the opposition stands about trying not to look bored, and we think it might be better to just get on with the game. Plus, the lads have been struggling with the words of the National Anthem as well as remembering the lines Sky TV wants them to say before and after set pieces, so frankly we don’t want to overload them too much. ”
The move has caused, predictably, some resentment from one or two rugby nations. The English union is said to have already worked out a Morris routine, with quick-release ankle bells recently trialled in some county matches. The French had also planned a version of their national dance, although there have been problems with at least two players injuring themselves on the goalposts during the high-speed backwards run.
Other teams are more relaxed. The Wallabies have never been bothered by threatening gestures and blood-curdling cries, or the haka either, according to the team coach. “Our boys have more bigger things to concentrate on,” he told WWNews on condition we give him a job after he gets sacked next week. “Like remembering the names of the players on their left and right, which way they’re supposed to run and what the ball is for. All that jumping up in the air and poking your tongue out – that’s AFL stuff, that is.”
The last haka will be performed against the Springboks next Saturday. After that, it’s expected to be picked up by the Black Caps who are said to be keen to try anything to help them win, apart from playing as a team, getting to bed early or actually practising.
To the weather now and the stiff breezes throughout much of the country will die down much sooner than the presenters’ hyperbole.
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