It's not just the Haka - know your Rugby World Cup war cries 8 years ago

It's not just the Haka - know your Rugby World Cup war cries

The haka has long been one of the highlights of seeing New Zealand in action, but the World Cup offers more than just the All Blacks' famous war cry.

Pacific island nations Tonga, Fiji and Samoa are all once again bringing ferocious versions of their traditional tribal war dances to the tournament, and the pool contest between Tonga and the All Blacks sure to provide a spine-tingling pre-match confrontation.


Here's SportsJOE's guide to each country's pregame challenge:

New Zealand

Haka - Ka Mate

The traditional Maori war cry dates back to the early 19th century, the chieftain of the Ngata Toi tribe, Te Rauparaha, and a day he narrowly avoided capture by tribal rivals. First performed in 1888 and later by The Originals who toured the UK and Ireland in 1905, the haka has become increasingly fearsome throughout the years.


I die! I die!
I live! I live!
I die! I die!
I live! I live!
This is the hairy man
Who fetched the Sun
And caused it to shine again
One upward step! Another upward step!
An upward step, another … the Sun shines!

Kapa O Pango

The All Blacks added a second haka to their repertoire in 2005, with the composition of the Kapa O Pango.


The new haka was specially written for the New Zealand rugby team - its title translates as 'Team in Black', and celebrates the team while also drawing on more traditional Maori culture.

Let me go back to my first gasp of breath
Let my life force return to the earth
It is New Zealand that thunders now
And it is my time!
It is my moment!
The passion ignites!
This defines us as the All Blacks
And it is my time!
It is my moment!
The anticipation explodes!
Feel the power
Our dominance rises
Our supremacy emerges
To be placed on high
Silver fern!
All Blacks!
Silver fern!
All Blacks!
aue hi! 



I Bole

The Flying Fijians had been using the Cibi, a war dance dating back to tribal battles with their island neighbours, on the rugby pitch since 1939. Then captain Ratu Cakobau, a descendant of the Fijian leader who first united the island's tribes and later Governor General of the island, insisted on Fiji having their own war cry to match the All Blacks on a tour of New Zealand.

However, the Cibi was thought to be more apt for a celebration than a physical battle, so in 2012 Fiji adopted the more aggressive Bole.

I'm challenging you to be uprooted, yes, it will be done,
let's turn them up side down.
I'm ready, you think I'm afraid of you, you can't break my defence.
You're only a hen, I'm the rooster, let's fight and you'll see.
I don't sleep and will watch you.
My strength can reach the crushing of the waves.
I will not be drowned, you think you'll defeat me by drowning?
Your fence is only made of wawamere creapers, It's easy to untangle.
I can uproot you, I can uproot you, yes it will be achieved.



Siva Tau

The Siva Tau is the war dance of the Samoans, and the rugby team, who used to perform the traditional Ma'ulu'ulu Moa, now use a version called the Manu Siva Tau, after was first used at the 1991 World Cup.

The more aggressive challenge was inspired by Manu - the Samoan warrior.

The Manu Samoa, may you succeed in your mission
The Manu Samoa, here I come
There is no other Manu (team) anywhere

Here I come completely prepared
My strength is at its peak
Make way and move aside
Because this Manu is unique

The Manu Samoa
The Manu Samoa
The Manu Samoa reigns from Samoa


Sipi Tau

The Sipi Tau is just one of many Polynesian cultural dances to be performed in Tonga, known as Kailao.

Aye, ay! Aye, ay!
I shall speak to the whole world
The Sea Eagles is famished unfurl.
Let the foreigner and sojourner beware
Today, destroyer of souls, I am everywhere
To the halfback and backs
Gone has my humanness.
Hey! hey! Aye ay! Zap.
Maul and loose forwards shall I mow
And crunch any fierce hearts you know
Ocean I drink, fire I dine
To death or victory my will is fine.
That's how Tonga dies to her motto
To her motto Tonga gives all.