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20 August 2014
John Roughan in the New Zealand Herald recently wondered if the All Blacks of today have lost the art of losing gracefully. The great Fred Allen was a hard man who drove his team's hard for test wins. Nothing else mattered but to win. His teams played tough for 80 minutes. Yet see how he lost so generously here in 1949 - with the South African captain Felix du Plessis. And Fred's team lost all four tests in a row on that tour!
Yes it's true! Number eight forward Greg Cornelsen scores 4 tries as the Wallabies thrash NZ 30-16 on Eden Park.
A Maori challenge, or war dance, which is traditionally performed by New Zealand rugby teams before their test matches. Vigorous, aggressive and intimidating, the haka was a ritual dance performed as much to fire up its proponents as to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy. In the rugby context, the haka issues to the opposition the challenge to play hard and well.
The first New Zealand team to perform the haka was the 1905–06 team in Britain. The 1928 All Black team in South Africa did the haka and the South Africans replied with a war chant of their own, being made up on the morning of the game!
New Zealanders know that when All Black teams are made up only of Pakeha players (Europeans), the haka is never performed with the vigour and feeling exhibited by Maori players.
Originally the haka was only performed by New Zealand teams when they were playing away from home, but when Scotland toured New Zealand in 1975 and later during the World Cup games in 1987, the haka was from then on always seen within New Zealand too. It is enormously popular in all the countries visited by New Zealand teams.
Which club supplied seven players of the 1971 British and Irish Lions touring team to New Zealand - five of whom played all four tests?