Friday, October 05, 2007
England needs her own Haka...
Watching the Rugby Union World Cup on the box, I've been struck by the different Hakas that the participating Polynesian teams like to perform just before kick off. The most famous is the Maori-inspired All Blacks Haka, but the Samoans, Fijians and Tongans also like to get in a bit of cultural intimidation before kick-off.
When Tonga played England last weekend, their version of the Haka, which is called the 'Sipu Tau' is particularly aggressive. They were sort of leaping about only a couple of feet away from the English players, pointing and a-jabbing away into the faces of our boys. Thankfully, the lads are made of finest English beef - and so, with stiff upper lippies standing to attention, they refused to rise to the ritualistic taunting of the Tongans.
But it sort of got me thinking - maybe we should have our own version of the Haka. Then we too can perform in front of our adversaries.... and thereby put the fear of God up them so much, they are beaten before an eyeball can be gouged or a tackle can be flanged.
So what sort of Haka should we have then? Should we whip out the Morris Dancing gear and give them a quick 'Hey-Nonny-Nonny' straight between the eyes? Should we bring a Union Flag with us, so when they start their Haka, we can transfix their captain with the flag staff and claim their islands for the British Empire?..
Then I thought of our history - the version of it that is B.L.L. (Before Lying Labour). Back to the time of Henry V and an epic battle on a foreign field. A battle of courage and daring-do in which the English, outnumbered by a zillion-to-one slaughtered the posh, la-de-dah French on the field of Agincort.
Before the battle, the French has threatened to cut off the first two fingers, (the 'draw' fingers which an archer uses to pull his bow-string) of every English bowman they could find. According to tradition, the English archers heard about this and stood behind their wooden spikes waving their two fingers in the air towards the mounted French Knights. The two fingered salute was born.
It was a taunting insult too far for the French. They charged headlong towards the English line - a gory death and a shattering defeat soon followed as the mighty 'Bodkin' arrowhead propelled by the awesome English long bow did its deadly work...
Yes, I reckon the sight of 15 beefy Englishmen all performing the two fingered salute would do the job just right..... especially against the French.