ZB

Violence overshadows Rugby League grudge match in Hamilton

Author
NewstalkZB Staff,
Publish Date
Sat, 4 Nov 2017, 6:25pm
Violence has overshadowed the build up to the Rugby League World Cup game in Hamilton. (Photo/ NZ Herald)
Violence has overshadowed the build up to the Rugby League World Cup game in Hamilton. (Photo/ NZ Herald)

Violence overshadows Rugby League grudge match in Hamilton

Author
NewstalkZB Staff,
Publish Date
Sat, 4 Nov 2017, 6:25pm

Officials in Hamilton are calling for fans to show respect at tonight's Rugby League World Cup match between Tonga and Samoa at FMG Stadium.

There has been considerable violence between rival fans in South Auckland this week.

200 people were involved in a clash in Otara last night - some brandishing weapons including a machete, pole and sticks.

Hamilton Council's Chad Hooker said fans who misbehave ruin it for everyone else.

"It's about having respect for the occasion, for the teams, and for everybody else attending the game.

"It's really important that people have a good time while at the game."

Violence was sparked earlier in the week when footage emerged of a Samoan flag being burned, which was quickly spread through the Pacific community in Auckland. 

In spite of the violence, the excitement around the game is building, as the city welcomes fans from each side for the blockbuster encounter.

Mr Hooker said the atmosphere has been amazing. 

"Over the last few days the vibe has been great, we've had a number of people from the Tongan community getting out and showing their support by doing things like attaching flags to their cars."