'Become a joke': Controversial New Zealand U20 Haka backfires on and off pitch
By Rugby Onslaught

‘Become a joke’: Controversial New Zealand U20 Haka backfires on and off pitch

New Zealand and Wales under 20s treated fans to a cracker of a match on Saturday at Paarl Gimnasium in their opening match of the World Rugby Under 20 Championship, but the Baby Blacks were creating controversy even before a ball had been kicked.

That is because the six-time champions produced a Haka before the match that was as extravagant as it was long. The production took over two minutes and even included on player taking a mere (a Maori weapon) onto the pitch, and has received quite a backlash from fans online who said it was too long.

The vast majority of fans are still fans of the Haka in rugby, but believe that this one went too far and was unfair on Wales, with one fan even likening it to a West End production. Bizarrely, some have said that it might have actually tired New Zealand out, which is a possibility as Wales raced to a 19-5 lead at half-time. It was only in the second half that the Baby Blacks were able to claw their way back into the game and sneak a 27-26 win.

Take a look at some of the comments online:

“Big fan of the Haka but this one is just a bit too long.”

“2 minutes of hyping yourself up whilst your opposition has to stand and watch..six-ti9me .love the haka but they dragged that one out a fair bit.”

“It’s become a joke. More like a west end production than a cultural ritual.”

“C’mon lads…draggin the arse out of it. Welsh team shouldn’t have to stand around waiting for them.”

“2 mins long…. Can they possibly do a summarized version?”

“Too long.”

“Are opponents allowed to do something similar for two minutes to waste time perpetrating this kind of nonsense?”

“20 min of Hollywood dancing took the sting out of them, they were poor first half.”