Twenty-nine people were arrested amid raucous scenes in South Auckland after Tonga beat rivals Samoa in the Rugby League World Cup.

About 3000 Tonga supporters gathered on Atkinson Ave in South Auckland to celebrate the 32-18 win at the Hamilton game - with some failing to heed repeated calls from community leaders and police for good behaviour.

A police spokeswoman said Counties Manukau police arrested 29 people in relation to the celebrations.

Two fights were captured on camera as high-energy celebrations bubbled over for some, thought the night started off well enough, a Herald photographer at the scene said.


Flag waving, loud music and cheering filled the street, which initially had a small police presence.

Tensions were raised when more rugby supporters arrived later from Hamilton and police were called in from Auckland Central and Counties Manukau to close down the celebrations shortly before 1am.

Pacific Wardens were also at the scene.

Video footage taken at the scene shows police appearing to confiscate items including a massive length of wood and a long white pole.

Some shop signage was damaged but overall the night did not get too out of hand, the Herald photographer said.

People left peacefully when asked and police had the street cleared out promptly.

Meanwhile, a security guard was taken to hospital after being attacked outside last night's match in Hamilton.

It is understood he was king-hit from behind. The victim was taken to hospital as a precaution, but was not thought to be seriously hurt.


Three people were arrested for invading the pitch and a fourth for drunkenness. About 20 people were also thrown out for bringing in banned items.

But overall, police were pleased with crowd behaviour. Inspector Karen Henrikson said the boisterous and energetic crowd in Hamilton brought a great atmosphere but little trouble.

"It was a really good crowd, with plenty of singing and plenty of colour," Henrikson said.

The game followed rising tensions between Tongan and Samoan fans. During the week, groups clashed in South Auckland, including one incident in Otara involving 200 people and six arrests.

Police responded with warnings, increased patrols in the area and meetings with community leaders.

Meanwhile, police have also praised the crowd at last night's New Zealand-Scotland game in Christchurch, saying there were no issues.