Lions tour: Blues haka deemed 'tasteless' by British journalists after UK terror attacks

  • 08/06/2017

The bespoke Blues haka which was performed prior to their win over the British and Irish Lions on Wednesday night was both "tasteless" and "inappropriate", according to a British journalist.

James Corrigan of the UK's Telegraph wrote a scathing review of the Blues' fiery pre-match performance, taking aim in particular at its throat-slitting gesture.

He believes it should have been dropped out of respect for the victims of both the recent London knife attacks and the Manchester bomb.

"Nobody wants it to turn into an international incident, but surely someone in the Blues set-up should have spotted the tasteless juxtaposition," wrote Corrigan.

"Performing a tribal dance which concludes with a collection of throat-slitting gestures in the direction of the British and Irish opposition.

"At the very best it could be described as inappropriate."

The haka was the first to ever be performed by a Blues side and was intended to be a dedication to the late Jonah Lomu and Kurtis Haiu, two players who have made significant contributions to the Auckland-based franchise.

The London-based scribe continued by returning to the more common criticisms of the famed pre-match ritual, questioning its relevancy and suggesting its performances had become tiresome.

"It is not necessary, and although the purists will assure us nothing violent is intended and it is more a mark of respect, it does not always appear that way. And it definitely seemed ill-suited and ill-timed at Eden Park in this of all weeks."

With eight matches and eight haka left to face, Corrigan suggested there's a genuine "risk of overkill" through the remainder of the tour.

"Warren Gatland's men will see more tongues than the average dentist, but we can only pray that the throat-slitting desists.

The All Blacks' most recent haka, Kapa o Pango, has consistently come under fire since its debut performance in 2005 for its throat-slitting gesture.

However, New Zealand Rugby has maintained the gesture is a drawing of breath into the heart and lungs, rather than anything sinister or violent as has often been presumed.