The response given by the England rugby team to the Haka performed by their New Zealand opponents before the two teams' World Cup semi-final match in Yokohama on Sunday has drawn much attention on social media, where a video has been viewed more than 60million times.
The Haka, whilst appearing intimidating and even inflammatory, is, in fact, a peaceful, loving gesture, and acts as a Maori welcome. In New Zealand, people greet each other with the Haka when they get up in the morning, and then when they arrive at work or school. It is intended, it's been claimed, as a show of respect.
But England did not view it that way.
The England team lined up in a 'V' formation, some players looking menacing, whilst others smiled, grinned, cackled and laughed. This was meant to convey England's own message to the Kiwis, said coach, Eddie Jones. It was, he said:
"to tell the Kiwis to get fucked."
The Haka involves pulling the tongue out, waggling it up and down, and enacting strange faces, whilst waving the hands and fingers, and stamping the feet at the recipients as if goading or challenging them. Jones said:
"We were all for running at the silly bastards. Poncey fucking dance! We're here to play rugby, not to dance like stupid kids."
The dance is traditionally thought to have been developed when the sun god, Tama-nui-te-rā, who had two wives, the Summer Maid, Hine-raumati, and the Winter Maid, Hine-takurua became a father. When Tama-nui-te-rā appeared during the coming of Hine-raumati, the air would seem to shimmer. This was the son of Tama-nui-te-rā and Hine-raumati, Tāne-rore, and it is he the Haka is named after.
All of which is unrelated to the rugby story, but it was thought a little background information wouldn't hurt.
Repeated examination of video footage has thus far been unable to confirm allegations that two unnamed England players responded to the New Zealand players' Haka by winking whilst groping their cocks.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was available for comment.