Security has been beefed up at tomorrow's Rugby League World Cup match between Tonga and Samoa following mass brawls and disorder among fans this week.

The Herald understands a number of security companies have been approached requesting guards to help police at the Toa Samoa versus Mate Ma'a Tonga match at Waikato Stadium tomorrow night.

The game is tipped to be one of the most thrilling in the entire tournament.

However, disturbing scenes of violence among Tongan and Samoan supporters have led to security measures being bumped up at the game.


It is understood a specific request for licensed security guards of Pacific Island descent has been made across companies who deal with event security.

Security companies spoken to by the newspaper said they could not reveal details about what was planned.

However, one insider said dozens of extra guards would be on site to help police officers keep the crowd behaved.

Alcohol bans in various areas would be strictly enforced and security staff would be keeping a close eye on fans after the match.

A spokesman for police said officers were committed to ensuring there would be a safe, secure and enjoyable World Cup tournament for all involved.

"Along with a range of other agencies, we have been planning for the tournament for some time.

"While we do not, for obvious reasons, discuss specific security measures such as staff numbers we have extensive experience of policing major events over the years."

The move follows days of disturbance and disorder among some fans in parts of South Auckland.


At least six people have been arrested this week; with police being called to parts of Otahuhu, Mangere and Otara.

Tonga and Samoa

Mālō e lelei and Talofa to our Tongan and Samoan communities. Here’s a message from our staff Pat Nofo’akifolau and Siona Ah Shew about everyone having a safe and enjoyable time at the big game on Saturday and throughout Rugby League World Cup! Sharing with some of the thousands of fans of rugby league from our Tongan and Samoan communities - all shares welcome please! #tokouso - Toko Uso all the way: Tonganow - Online Community for Tongans Rugby League Samoa (RLS) Tongan NRL & Mate Ma'a Tonga Fans TOA SAMOA

Posted by Counties Manukau Police on Wednesday, 1 November 2017

At a fracas last night, a machete was confiscated.

The incidents occurred despite several calls from community leaders from both the Samoan and Tongan communities, as well as church and even Cabinet Ministers to keep the peace.

Both teams - Toa Samoa and Mate Ma'a Tonga - and a number of Tongan and Samoan celebrities have also appealed for calm among fans, with the hashtag #TokoUso starting to trend.

Toko and uso are the respective words for "brother'' in Tongan and Samoan.

Two Counties Manukau Police officers, speaking in Tongan and Samoan, also fronted a campaign urging supporters to respect each other and act responsibly.

Meanwhile, a spokesman from the Rugby League World Cup promised a colourful display of Pasifika culture at tomorrow's big game.

"This weekend in Hamilton will be a celebration of Pasifika culture - from the pre-match fan festival to the combined church service on the Sunday.

"At the match, there will be great Pacific entertainment, appearances by community leaders and of course the much-anticipated game between two great Pacific nations.''

The spokesman acknowledged that many of those in the crowd would be made up of church and family groups and therefore there was a focus to deliver a "family-friendly festival atmosphere".

"The safety of our spectators and players is our top priority, so we have been working closely with the venue and police; and will continue to do so to ensure appropriate measures are in place.

"We encourage supporters to treat one another with respect and kindness."

Samoa vs Tonga: 7.30pm kick-off, tomorrow, Waikato