Rugby-mad New Zealanders have had to wait 24 years to host the sport’s flagship event, the World Cup. So they can perhaps be forgiven for getting a little over-excited about it. As anyone in New Zealand at the moment will testify, there is no escaping the All Blacks or their famed pre-match war dance, the Haka.
The team performs this Maori ritual before every game to get psyched up for an 80-minute physical battle and to try to intimidate the opposition. Fans too are getting involved: for months Kiwis have been organising Haka flashmobs in places such as shopping centres and town squares.
The traditional Haka used by the All Blacks is the Ka Mate, although since they have also been using the Kapa O Pango, which ends with a gesture of throat-slitting. For anyone who doesn’t know their Ponga Ra from their Ka Ora, follow Indian comedian Wilbur Sargunaraj, who went to learn a thing or two about becoming a Maori warrior.