Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
4 January 2016
What a haka classic this is! This one from the little-known but very significant New Zealand Maori team's world tour (with games mainly in France) back in 1926-27. Back then French rugby was very much in the doldrums. The national team hadn't won a game for years in the Five Nations Championship. But the 'Maori rugby' style of fast, open back play changed attitudes right across the south west proved very popular - and soon it was adopted to French way.
Always a day of historical traditions for French people. More lustre is added with this brilliant 24-19 win over the All Blacks in Auckland.
A term given to the rugby world by Argentina. Bajada (also known as bajadita) is the name given to the style of pushing in a scrum where the hooker keeps his feet back and the scrum pushes forward using the thrust of all eight men. While that in itself was not a new technique, Argentine teams, at both club and national level, shocked the rugby world with secret variations of the eight-man shove in the early 1970s.
The results were often astounding. South African players and officials were perhaps the first outsiders to feel the power of bajada when the Buenos Aires club, San Isidro, took the technique to South Africa in 1973. The locals there were shocked to find their teams, with all of South Africa’s history of powerful scrummaging, frequently pushed into a backslide.
Recent law changes have tended to deflate the power of the scrum, but the legacy of powerful scrimmaging remains with Argentine rugby today. The term ‘bajada’ (meaning ‘downhill’) deserves to be remembered.
In which New Zealand Rugby Province was the Ranfurly Shield resident for the longest duration of time?