Well, yes, there is another English meaning

New Zealanders have expressed disappointment at the decision to fine England for their v-shaped formation for the All Blacks haka in their Rugby World Cup semi-final, with many fans praising them for their dignity and dramatic flair.

On Saturday night, England delighted fans in both camps when players arranged themselves to face the All Blacks. The V – which many inside New Zealand took to stand for “victory” –

But the underlying point. The haka isn’t some cultural wibble like haspirating hs or not. It’s a challenge to battle.

To which there should be a response other than milling around then kicking a ball at them.

10 thoughts on “Well, yes, there is another English meaning”

  1. I’m not 100% sure as I haven’t read the final decision, but I suspect a lot of the reporting on this has been fake news.

    The infringement wasn’t for the V-shaped response. It was for encroaching on the opponent’s half (which has happened before and been fined before several times, and is a little more reasonable)

    But that doesn’t sound so dramatic, so the journalists seem to blame ‘the formation’, which is only technically true.

    I’m think the ‘outrage’ in NZ was also rather confected with a few rent-a-quotes.

  2. Form a circle around them then engage in a bit of Morris dancing. Failing that re-enact the final scene on Holy Grail with French Kernigets ( “he haw he haw, your mother smelled of elderberries and your father was a hamster”)

  3. Why don’t they just play rugby? Why bother with all the other nonsense, which appears to be a mixture of sacred cultural piffle and an attempt to intimidate and show off?

    Better still, why not have a cultural expression competition in which two groups of blokes invoke their ancient gods or otherwise cavort about in a way they take to be meaningful, and spice it up with a bit of sport at half time?

  4. I fancy England to win. From 5-2 for last week’s game to 5-9 for the final shows a fast turnround in sentiment.
    Not much to be gained from the bookies. But wales are long odds v NZ, 10-1. Sure Wales probably won’t win (haven’t since 1953) but will have a 1st XV v a 2nd XV.
    Combine with a 20+ margin (never been done in a final before) for England (11-1) as an accumulator you’re risking little to get serious money.
    Jones has known his knockout opponents since the first weekend. They probably didn’t have England as such certainties.
    The haka is ridiculous. All that thigh slapping, jazz hands and tongue poking. Noone can take it seriously. European sides should take toy muskets out for the ceremonies. After all, it’s part of our heritage.

  5. RWC refers to it as a ‘cultural challenge’ in the rules, which do include staying in your half. The refs did warn them and ask them to move which could be seen in the coverage so a fine seems appropriate, imagine the uproar if the game had started with a penalty against England for the infringement.
    The WRU did once inform NZ they were going to respond with singing the welsh anthem again as it’s cultural for us, AB did the Hakka in the dressing room instead.

  6. Seems culturally quite appropriate for England to encroach on New Zealand’s half ( I mean land). Possibly we erred if we didn’t offer muskets and booze in exchange.

  7. A bit late on this (possibly due to drying my eyes after being beaten by the better team (why couldn’t your finals team turn out for the semis?)); but all of the press in New Zealand on the English response to the Haka absolutely loved it. The Maori scholars all said it was what should happen, the TV audiences thought it was great. And yes, most of us know the double meaning behind the v-sign!

    The fine wasn’t a result of the response but because a few English players strayed into New Zealand’s half whilst the Haka was being performed. This isn’t a problem to New Zealanders, just to the TV producers who bankroll the whole thing as they want to broadcast from the halfway line – although a “v” doesn’t stop them from doing this but the rules haven’t taken that into account!

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