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Facing down defeat

Belvedere College SJ rugby suffered a real setback when they were defeated by one point in the dying minutes of their semi-final clash with St Michael’s in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup Rugby. The team had started off really well, and had built up a significant lead. All the harder then to suffer defeat by one point (16-15) – mirroring (only in reverse) a previous and happier encounter with the St Michael’s team.

It was a sombre dressing room after the defeat until the two Belvedere coaches from New Zealand, Valentine Tauamiti and Massey Tuhakaraina, treated the disconsolate players to a rousing, iconic Hawkes Bay haka. It asks the question, ‘what is the problem you are carrying?’, and encourages the players to look inside themselves for the answer to it.

It was an electrifying moment for the dressing room, and it was caught on video.

Another Jesuit College, Gonzaga, did make it through to the final to face St Michael’s on St Patrick’s Day. They put up a courageous fight, but unfortunately they were bested on the day.

Words of haka:

Pay attention
Listen up, take your stance!
Hi!
Arms outstretched,
out and back!
Kss Kss

What is right is always right!
In – deed!
What is right is always right!
Ah… yes!
Be true to yourself, my son!
You have raised my concerns, so listen up!…. .
What is this problem you are carrying?
How long have you been carrying it for?
Have you got that? Right, let’s go on.

So son, although it may be difficult for you
and son, although it seems to be unyielding
no matter how long you reflect on it
the answer to the problem
is here inside you.

Indeed! Indeed! Indeed! Yes, indeed!