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The All Blacks Give Us the Haka but I’d Rather Have Tea.

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This Saturday sees the climax of the Lions Rugby Tour to New Zealand and our last chance to see the ‘Haka’ performed before the game. I don’t know about you but I love this show of aggression towards the opposition which is founded upon team spirit and self-belief.

I was reading this past weekend that rugby is an integral part of schools in New Zealand and the Haka is performed just as fervently at this level as done so by the seniors. Being part of the rugby team is a necessary initiation into playing at senior level and schools adopt a strict policy towards good behaviour in school as well as attendance levels in team selection.

Whenever I watched rugby in my youth I did feel envious of the Welsh and their catalogue of stirring anthems where every fan appeared to know every word to Sospan Fach, Cwm Rhondda or the more accessible Land of my Fathers.

These were the days before Sweet Chariot, Ireland’s Call or Flower of Scotland and each rendition would provide a hair-on-the back-of-the-neck moment.

I am a firm believer in team spirit and creating an environment where such is allowed to flourish.

Perhaps we should look to bring the Haka into more common use. We taught the New Zealanders to play rugby and cricket so it must be payback time.

It would bring a refreshing start to the day to see the employees of Wright’s Pies and Chatwin’s lined up opposite each other performing their individual Haka, emphasising each group’s passion for their pasties, pies and sausage rolls.

Car dealerships on Weston Road could challenge each other on a round robin basis where the quality of the Haka would be a buyer’s purchasing deal swinger rather than the offers on PCP Finance.

I feel sure this could develop into a major tourist attraction. Forget redevelopment of the town centre. Clear the whole area and stage inter-company Haka competitions every weekend (hosted by Liz at Red Shift Radio). Remaining coffee houses and cafes could clean up on the catering side and the new HS2 Hub would bring spectators in from far and wide.

In the interim if you run a company which aspires to instil the same loyalty, camaraderie and passion as evidenced by our antipodean cousins and have need of finance to nurture this culture then contact us at the South Cheshire Development Agency based at the Chamber offices.

We may need to initially stand toe to toe and stick our tongues out at each whilst banging our forearms and stamping our feet, but worry not, the kettle will be on and the biscuits aplenty for a good old traditional English chat over tea.



Tags: Haka, Rugby, Sports, HS2, Crewe
Mark Greenhalgh
I'm up for tongue sticking out any time Richard and fully endorse the comments made in your article - team spirit is hard work to establish and maintain but a great place to be when you truly have it
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