Science proves that the All Blacks DO gain an advantage over the opposition by performing the haka before the games – and an Aussie tactic to counter the war dance
- Performing the haka gives players an advantage by increasing the heart rate
- Opposition players need to do something to stay active while it happens
- Scientist says that wearing a tracksuit benefits the haka. can counter
For a long time, the haka war dance was thought to help the All Blacks dominate the rugby union – and now there’s science to back that up.
The New Zealand national team has one of the best win rates in all sports – with the All Blacks winning 76 percent of their matches over the past 120 years.
The Maori’s famous ceremonial challenge has been a big part of their arsenal, as it’s known for chasing opponents before kick-off.
The All Blacks have dominated rugby for nearly 120 years, winning 76 percent of their matches played. The haka has been an important part of their arsenal
Science has proven that the ceremonial dance gives the party performing it an advantage
Irish rugby commentator Ewan MacKenna once argued that the haka shouldn’t be allowed because the All Blacks gained an advantage by keeping warm while performing the dance while the opposition was forced to stand, watch and decline. cooling.
Vince Kelly of Queensland University’s School of Human Movement decided to find out if it was true and put heart monitors on players as they performed the haka to observe any physiological changes.
“I was really surprised at how high heart rates reached for players performing the haka, with some reaching over 90 percent of their maximum heart rate,” he told the club. Sydney Morning Herald.
A scientist believes that the haka gives the players performing it about the same advantage as doing a full warm-up before a match – while their opponents have to stand still and watch
“Players who perform the haka have an advantage over their opponents because their heart rate is elevated in preparation for the match.”
Kelly said performing the haka raised the heart rate to about the same level as doing a warm-up, adding that it can give the All Blacks an edge over an opponent standing still while they watch.
“Generally speaking, teams do their warm up and then probably come down a bit,” he said. “It is possible that the team doing the haka will retain those benefits of the warm-up.
“Having an elevated body temperature usually raises muscle temperature, making the muscles ready to train faster.”
Kelly believes teams should do something to stay active while the haka is being performed, but not try to disrupt it.
The scientist believes that teams should do something to stay active while the haka is performed, but should not try to disrupt or challenge the ceremonial dance
“Possibly disrespecting the haka by not watching it or warming up while it is being performed would only upset the players doing the haka more,” he said. ‘And then [the All Blacks] would probably have been more pumped up to get it right.”
In the early 2000s, the Wallabies began to keep their tracksuits on during the haka, keeping them warmer for longer.
Kelly said the tactic has merit.
‘[The Wallabies’ tracksuit strategy] means the team doing the haka would lose the benefit of that warming effect because their core temperature and heart rate would be lowered,” he said.
A good tactic to counter the haka advantage is to keep a tracksuit on and not lose heat – something the Wallabies did in the early 2000s
It was not a good year for the All Blacks in 2022, winning just three out of seven tests, including historic losses at home to Ireland and Argentina. The team has plummeted to an all-time low of number 5 in the world rankings.
New Zealand will play against the Wallabies in the first game of the Bledisloe Cup on Thursday evening. Of the 152 Bledisloe Tests already played, New Zealand has won 108 and Australia 37, with seven drawn.