A strong police presence has taken to the streets around the Otahuhu town centre after Tonga's controversial League World Cup semifinal loss to England.

Tonga's cup dream is over after they lost their semi 20-18 to England in front of a sold-out Mt Smart Stadium tonight.

Tonga – who have been the story of the tournament – narrowed England's lead to just two points after a dramatic late-match comeback.

Then match officials refused Tongan appeals for what would have been a match-winning try to prop Andrew Fifita on fulltime – upseting both Tonga's players and fans alike.


Police match operation commander Peter Gibson said the atmosphere created by fans had been one to remember for all.

"After the game, the Tongan fans were still smiling and shaking hands with the English fans, which was really pleasing to see," he said.

No arrests were made at the match, but 18 people were evicted for intoxication or disorder, he said.

At nearby Otahuhu – the scene of unrest after previous World Cup clashes featuring Tonga – police have blocked off several streets around the central quarter to traffic.

Groups of police officers are patrolling the streets and appear ready to crack down on any signs of unrest.

Police have also vowed to "strictly" enforce an alcohol ban in place around the Otahuhu town centre.

Despite visible disappointment on the faces of Tongan fans in Otahuhu, there were still pockets of celebration on the streets and pride in their team's 11th hour comeback.

"I couldn't really watch it because I was so nervous, but it was really close," said Vea Oneone.

"We are still very proud, within 68 minutes they were still zero then they made all those scores in the last minutes. It doesn't matter if they win or lose - for a Pacific Island team to get this far, we are very proud."

Added Suli Ikavuka: "I'm a bit sad, eh. It was a good game but everybody's blaming the ref, it wasn't really fair.

"But at the end of the day it's just a game and we're proud of Tonga. And the way they came back at the end, man, that's what you call Die for Tonga; when they heard the crowd calling at the end, it gave them the power to go hard."

Tonga's dedicated fans have been one of the huge success stories of the tournament.

They have celebrated their national pride before matches, at match venues, and in many post-match celebrations.

But the actions of some have created headlines for the wrong reasons.

The otherwise vibrant atmosphere the tournament has brought to Auckland has been marred by several violent clashes that have resulted in two police officers being injured and multiple arrests.

Extra frontline officers have been brought in for tonight's game and crowds have been warned to be on their best behaviour with the promise of a zero tolerance approach to drunk and disorderly groups.

A police officer was knocked unconscious by one reveller while patrolling in Otahuhu last weekend while another officer was struck in the face with a flagpole, and has only just returned to work on light duties.

A man was arrested in relation to the latter incident but the officer who was hit last weekend is still off work and police haven't found the offender.

Clashes in Otahuhu erupted earlier in the month with hundreds of Tonga and Samoa supporters, some armed with weapons, brawling on public streets. Dozens of arrests have been made following Saturday night games since.