World media call France haka fine 'final insult'

Last updated 09:55 26/10/2011
All Blacks haka

ADVANCING: Captain Thierry Dusautoir (No 6) leads France forward in V-formation to face the All Blacks' Kapa o Pango haka before the Rugby World Cup final.

Related Links

France pay World Cup final haka penalty Standing up to the haka - top challenges Sorry old chap, the haka's no joke French coach bids adieu with jibe at media French players in confrontation with press RWC Final - New Zealand v France RWC 2011 - All Blacks vs France World Cup final highlights France await decision on haka challenge

Relevant offers


Sonny Bill Williams looks to have inside running for All Blacks spot Allegations of king hit punches thrown in Wellington club rugby Six match Super Rugby ban for Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen Chiefs halfback Finlay Christie cops three-week ban for 'reckless' stamping on opponent's head Rugby club pays touching tribute to fallen Anzac heroes with commemorative jersey Richie Mo'unga tests pain threshold and patience as Crusaders prepare for Cheetahs 'Richie would always look at me like 'nah, nah, nah' when asked to lead AB haka: Piri Weepu Daryl Gibson has 'got to go' after woeful Waratahs loss: ex-Wallabies coach Alan Jones Kiwi backrower Fritz Lee drives Clermont into European Champions Cup final Warren Gatland to allow 'sensible' drinking on Lions' New Zealand tour

Rugby experts have condemned the IRB's decision to fine France $4900 for advancing toward the All Blacks' haka at the World Cup final, calling it ''pedantic'' and the ''final insult''.

It was confirmed yesterday that the International Rugby Board (IRB) had fined France because they breached a regulation on how the haka should be faced, introduced after previous confrontations.

The fine came despite IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset acknowledging the wildly popular response to the challenge was ''not an aggressive response'', and the All Blacks saying France should not be fined.

Former All Black and World Cup winner Alan ''AJ'' Whetton said it was another sign of the IRB getting ''a wee bit too pedantic'' about its role in international rugby.

''There's something called protocol but sometimes there's also something called common sense,'' he said. ''What bearing did it have on the game? Absolutely nothing. It was bloody irrelevant. There was no harm done in my point of view and I thought it added a bit of spice, really.''

Barney Ronay, writing in Britain's Guardian newspaper said: ''It seems that the haka, the world's most famous sporting war dance, is still an unapproachably hot potato: albeit the most tediously touchy of hot potatoes, a potato warmed by its own portable fug of cultural confrontationalism.''

Ronay said even the New Zealand team manager, Darren Shand, was among those who had expressed unease about the fine.

''But still the International Rugby Board seems intent on putting about the idea that the only appropriate response is to stand looking vaguely interested, like bum-bagged tourists on a stroll around the Maori museum rugby experience.

''Getting rid of the haka isn't an option. Nobody wants that. But getting rid of the po-faced and rather precious ringfencing of its sole right to offer a pre-match challenge can only be a good thing. Why not just take the brakes off and offer the Maori war dance the ultimate compliment of taking it at face value, as a challenge that is there to be met in whatever way its opponents can muster.

''Fining France simply for walking along in a line, while opposite them their opponents are miming acts of terrible corporeal violence, just makes the whole spectacle look a little silly,'' Ronay said.

Britain's The Daily Mail dubbed the fine the ''final insult'' while in France the newspapers L'Equipe and the Le Monde both highlighted captain Thierry Dusautoir's reasoning for the V-shaped advance.

"It was a great moment and a moment we will remember all our lives," Dusautoir said after the match.

- Stuff and Sydney Morning Herald

Ad Feedback
Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content