Tongans turn on each other as celebrations turn sour
Victory turned into a vicious onslaught as jubilant Tongans armed with poles turned on each other, felling victims with brutal head butts, the Daily Telegraph reports.
New footage has emerged of a night of shocking violence as Tongan supporters clashed using weapons and brute force following their team’s victory in the much-anticipated league match against Pacific rivals Samoa.
Despite widespread appeals for calm, South Auckland’s main road became a battleground bringing traffic to a standstill as scores clad in the Tongan red jersey brawled, some brandishing poles, in a series of violent fracas.
The skirmishes - which took place on Otahuhu late on Saturday night - saw victims felled by powerful punches and kicks.
In one incident a man is ambushed by another who knocks him to the ground by a brutal head butt.
Others gang up on sole victims chasing them on to streets in the path of moving vehicles before they are repeatedly kicked and punched.
The video also shows people using poles stripped of flags to hit others.
The sporadic violence brought traffic to a standstill with blaring horns competing with threats and screams.
According to Facebook those involved were believed to belong to the Tongan community from the city’s eastern and southern communities.
Police today appealed anyone who witnessed any attacks on people or were a victim in Otahuhu on Saturday to call them as soon as possible.
A spokeswoman said while the majority of supporters were well-behaved the actions of a small number was concerning.
“This behaviour is not tolerated,” she said. “Anyone breaking the law will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately by Police.”
There had been 29 people arrested for disorderly behaviour in South Auckland on Saturday night following the league game.
The bulk of the disorder occurred in the Otahuhu township between 10pm and 2am.
She said there were major traffic issues in the suburb with supporters celebrating in the streets in cars and on foot.
Read more: Daily Telegraph