Lock Brodie Retallick has returned for the All Blacks in arguably their strongest side for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final against Ireland in Tokyo.
The All Black haka is a multidimensional ritual. For the individual player it is a statement of his “mana” or as the Romans described it as having “gravitas” – a man’s depth of character having successfully confronted adversity.
Mana is very much celebrated in New Zealand society. This is important in understanding that when an All Black plays he is making a statement about the depth of his manhood. To meet his challenge, prevail and being acknowledged in doing so.
Inspired by Kurtley Beale, four things happened versus the All Blacks on Saturday night that impacted the Wallabies victory:
1. The indigenous welcome to the country was performed pre-match for the first time and the crowd were invited to join in a traditional indigenous Australian Cooee!
2. The Wallabies, again for the first time, wore an Australian Rugby jersey embolden with magnificent indigenous art celebrating the 14 previous indigenous Wallabies (which sold out online in record time).
3. The Wallabies adopted their own ritual arrowhead formation to meet the challenge of the haka ritual.
4. Kurtley Beale excelled in his leadership and continued to exhort the warrior spirit out of the Wallabies, resulting in the customary professional cool of the All Blacks being lost.
What was most telling was that when the All Blacks lifted their intensity in the last five minutes, it was met head-on by the Wallabies and Lukhan Tui in particular, with a magnificent aerial take under immense pressure. Cometh the hour, cometh the man!
Cooee Kurtley Beale – the Wallaby spirit is renewed and may the conduct of last Saturday night – in its entirety – never be forgotten!