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Campbell Live

IRB 'unqualified' to speak on haka matters, say All Black greats

Tuesday 25 Oct 2011 3:43 p.m.

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The haka is a call to war, and the performers of it must be ready to handle the consequences of their challenge.

On Sunday night it the French lined up in the shape of a v for victory - and the crowds loved it.

But today the IRB has fined the French team $20,000 for its response to the haka.

French supporters are puzzled, and All Black greats say the IRB is out of line.

“Very rarely you challenge the haka, and it's great the French did that. We respect that, they're great players. You face the haka and do that, we know you’re up for it,” Buck Shelford said.

Should France be fined for their response to the haka?

IRB rules state a team must not advance past the 10 metre line while the haka is being performed.

So while the All Blacks are chanting ka tu te ihi ihi ka tu te wanawana - our dominance, our supremacy will triumph - the opposition is expected to wait quietly and respectfully on that side of the line and no closer

Those who've led the challenge in years gone by say the IRB are unqualified to speak on haka matters

“Norm was challenged in a couple of times by Cockerill. They were nose to nose. I was challenged in ‘89 and it was fantastic. They all got slaps on the hand for disrespecting the haka, and that’s the IRB not us. We thought it was great challenge,” Shelford said.

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