Samoa, Tonga fans brawl ahead of Rugby League WCup match
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Police and community leaders have appealed for calm after violence flared between Samoan and Tongan fans ahead of their teams’ match in the Rugby League World Cup this weekend.
Six people were arrested on Thursday after a brawl involving up to 200 people, some armed with poles and sticks, in the south Auckland suburb of Otara which has a large Pacific islands population. Auckland police spokeswoman Sandra Manderson said those arrested had been charged with disorderly behavior and possession of offensive weapons.
A similar brawl occurred in the suburb of Otahuhu earlier in the week.
Former world heavyweight title contender, Samoa-born David Tua, is among those who have called on fans to cease the violence.
Manderson said extra police would be on duty at the match in Hamilton on Saturday.