British rugby writer Stephen Jones' dig at the haka has sparked a strong response from NZ Herald readers.
In his column for the Sunday Times, Jones said that the All Blacks have turned the haka into a ridiculous bout of pre-game posturing that has no place in rugby today.
On our Facebook page, Leanne Hutson said: "I'm a pom and I love watching the Haka. I don't think you would find many people agree with him."
A few readers questioned whether Jones understood the real meaning of the haka, with Flo Brown adding: "If he took time out to find out why they do the haka, he would then understand what it's about: challenge and battle cry, not a tongue-wagging exercise designed to entertain him."
Ngaire Jean Albert agreed, saying: "Stephen Jones has little understanding of culture or its significance. It's great that the ABs take the haka with them. NZ is world known for the haka through them, that perform it on behalf of the NZ people."
Celia Rose also supported that view, stating: "Sporting arrogance? It's more of a war cry. He clearly doesn't know the context."
Meanwhile, Daniel Hustler pointed out it might not be the first time Jones has been off-base, saying: "Stephen Jones also stated that Johnny Wilkinson was the greatest flyhalf of all time. Just goes to show the level of his intelligence."
Korrey Cook suggested the All Blacks should deny overseas fans the right to view the haka, saying: "Typical view of a colonialist. I say they aren't privileged enough to receive the challenge. Do it in the changing shed boys! Make that journalist eat his words and be the reason why their crowds don't get to see the haka."
James Broughton added "I can't remember the last time 60,000 people at £100 a head packed a stadium to watch a tabloid reporter speak."
In's Your Views section, opinions varied more widely.
Kate agreed with Jones' view that the haka was "posturing".
"It is indulgent and I think has had it's day... it's pathetic - we've grown up now and don't need special attention."
Tom reckoned the haka was "an embarrassment to civilized people. In a world of anger and violence, this display of aggression has no place," whereas WWW thought it "macho and unsportsman like".
David McKay said "It is a primitive ritual befitting a primitive stone age culture, not a civilized one. It should be banned."
Gazza took the chance to express his dislike of the national anthem being sung in te reo as well: "Yes it is, it's a joke and should be ditched along with singing the national anthem in Maori."
David M thought it was unnecessary for the All Blacks to perform the haka before each match. "It's well overdue that we dropped this pre match ritual. I love a good haka as most kiwis do but it's time to move on, its becoming slightly embarrassing. Maybe restrict it to 1st home match and 1st away match."
But others' views were more in line with the pro-haka feeling over on Facebook.
Barnaby said: "The next time the Poms are out here, lets send a team of maypole dancers out onto the field, to stir their pasty-faced little hearts."
Loafer reckoned: "Jones' views are archaic, irrational, and appallingly bigoted; this man needs to grow up and stop trying to incite an anti-Maori sentiment within British rugby supporters."
The fact of the matter is that nobody takes any notice of Jones's one -eyed views anyway - no pommy team can beat even an out of sorts rusty AB's team. He should pull his head in - the haka is part of world rugby as much as being part of NZ rugby.
Acknowledgements::wave: Herald online