A fine of £2500 has been handed out to France for not following the customary tradition of standing like lemons whilst the All Blacks perform their traditional pre-match ritual.
As New Zealand performed the haka before the start of the Rubgy World Cup Final, the French linked arms and advanced to towards the halfway line – a move which did not sit well with the International Rugby Board (IRB).
The fine has once again brought up the issue of just how opposition players should act before the haka – with anything more than a static showing of cultural sensitivity seemingly deemed to the New Zealanders’ credit they appear uneasy at France being censured by the IRB; with All Blacks manager Darren Shand saying, ‘They came to play and that was great…. The Culture challenge is that. It should be done and then we get on with the real stuff.’
Thankfully France had at no point expressed an intention to ever wear black jerseys;otherwise there would have been hell to pay.
By Peter Simpson