Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks haka intimidating and provides 'unfair advantage' - Ewan MacKenna

An Irish sportswriter has called for World Rugby to ban the haka, claiming it gives the All Blacks an "unfair advantage".

Writing for Pundit Arena, Ewan MacKenna believes the cultural "war dance" has been commercialised and exploited, and no longer has a place on the rugby field. 

MacKenna is scathing in describing the pre-match ritual, claiming barely any of the New Zealand side are actually "Maoris" [sic].

"There's a practical reason why the haka shouldn't happen as, while it provides a psychological edge through self-inspiration and via an attempt at opponent intimidation, it also provides a small physical edge, as others are forced to stand still and go briefly cold," he claimed.

"There's another reason too, though, as there is a huge lack of self-awareness about this. 

"Again, there are those who'll say it's native and it is to some, but the majority of New Zealand players haven't been Maori. Instead, they descend from forefathers who were actually ruthless oppressors of natives."

MacKenna described the All Blacks as "big-headed" and in no need of having their already inflated egos massaged by World Rugby pandering to the haka.

The Irishman pointed to a New Zealand v Wales test in 2006 at Millennium Stadium, when the All Blacks performed the haka in the changing sheds, noting that's where it belonged.

"A dozen years ago, when New Zealand came to town, they asked that the kaka [sic] take place after the visiting anthem, allowing the glorious and beautiful Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau to ring out last and set their home scene. 

"The All Blacks, however, threw a pathetic strop, flung their toys far from the pram and ended up amusing themselves with it within the confines of their dressing room. Where it should stay.

"Only it hasn't, instead, it returned, increasing in length from what used to be a mere 30 seconds long, which is hardly surprising, as it’s been ruthlessly exploited and commercialised, and ultimately cheapened. 

"Yet even World Rugby have it in their rules that to not stand on your own 10-metre line, and watch a bunch stick out their tongues and slap their thighs, is worthy of a fine and a telling off."

Mackenna didn't stop there, suggesting New Zealanders abuse the haka without knowing its true meaning - calling Kiwis "cringeworthy".

"Anyway, it’s completely overdone - in rugby and in life.

"A New Zealand graduation or homecoming, a wedding afters or merely a boozed-up night out, it seems, can barely pass by without a YouTube video emerging of a man leaping about with all the authenticity of a Blackrock College conversation, detailing both tillage methodology and livestock vaccination."

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