The Haka

Filed under: Sports — Chamberlain @ 11:49 am
No. 44

A few years ago while visiting Albany NY for a wedding, Bill Cromie introduced me to the All Blacks, the premier New Zealand Rugby Team. They were matched up in a championship event against their traditional arch rival, the Springboks of South Africa. Bill, a former rugby star and an avid fan, had a subscription cable channel which produced phenomenal viewing of this match, capturing the excitement of an immense and enthusiastic crowd. At one point, disappointed by a referee’s call, several fans leapt first onto the field and then onto the referee who was handily dispatched by ambulance to the local emergency room. But the most unforgettable part of the match for me was the opening ‘Haka’, the Maori War Chant, an example of which I wish to present here for those Rumpians who may not have seen it before:

With that The Chamberlain wishes to welcome the newly re-connected Kiwi relatives to OurRumpus and to acknowledge the accomplishment of their All Blacks team. Knowing full well that other Rumpians especially those from Australia, might bristle with these accolades, I list the recent results of the Tri-Nations Championships and rest my case. (The Tri-Nations matches up the 3 southern hemisphere powerhouse teams – New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa – all top tier international competitors)

Tri-Nations champions:

* 2007: New Zealand
* 2006: New Zealand
* 2005: New Zealand
* 2004: South Africa
* 2003: New Zealand
* 2002: New Zealand
* 2001: Australia
* 2000: Australia
* 1999: New Zealand
* 1998: South Africa
* 1997: New Zealand
* 1996: New Zealand

Quite a record for the Kiwi’s.

In the video clip I thought I recognized a Mullanphy on the All Black squad – maybe Dan or Jeanne Mellamphy can identify him for us…

A few announcements:

  • Our poetry referees are still in closed session, unable to render a final verdict on the Haiku Competition.
  • Our website sidebar is being slowly enhanced – we now feature a growing set of historical documents including The Library which houses biographical and historical information including memorable speeches by clan members – much more to be added as time permits.
  • Send in any photos you might wish to submit to the July Photo of the Month contest – simply email your jpgs to

The Chamberlain


  1. Well, perhaps this year the All Blacks were a little tired of being champs – it was the Wallabies and England in the finals of the Webb Ellis World Cup, with the(unusual) northern hemisphere team winning out in the last moments. Our Kiwi relatives will lick their wounds – but there’s next year!

    Comment by rcdunnii — July 13, 2008 @ 10:11 am

  2. Well, like alot of the family mrmbers who played Rugby or are fans, the Haiku is a war dance that you might have seen on T.V. or the clip above. I however, have seen it in person.

    In 1992 I played in the High School National Championships, for the Druids. The team we played was from Salt Lake City. Most of their team consisted of Samoan Imigrants. As the Haiku commenced, we stood at the 50 yard line watching, in line formation, with crossed arms and silent. We did respect their tradition, but were not intimidated at all. In fact, it seemed to be a showoff tactic and made us rev up more and heightened the intsensity of the entire game.

    The match wound up being very spirited and I was forced off the feild, due to a shoulder injury. The game was very close…they did wind up winning, but only by 1 Try. So, in the end the Haiku is like an play fight, a pretend show off technique. Being on the other end of the dance doesn’t make for a scare tactic, it just makes for a more fierce opposition. I say just bring IT! I think are Kiwi Cousins would agree.

    I am still playing Rugby, of course! Our team is always looking for active players and Old Boys, to visit or play and join the Club. We could always use some cheering on by visitors too. Our home games are at Marquette Park and you can check out our schedule on our site.

    Comment by David Pentland Jr. — April 21, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

  3. David,

    thanks for the comment! Jack McClelland and I will have to catch one of your games!


    Comment by rcdunnii — April 21, 2009 @ 8:21 pm

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