Tongans celebrate historic victory

On Thursday the league stars were welcomed at the royal villa in Tufumāhina by Their Majesties King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u.

Kaniva News reports the king urged the players, the officials and all related parties to put aside their differences and unite in peace.

Upheavals surrounding the team, which emerged months earlier before their historic victory last month had reached global media.

Tonga National Rugby League interim board called for the Invitational XIII to be  boycotted because they weren’t the Mate Ma’a Tonga or even a ‘real’ Tongan team.

Why Tongan passion is the best thing about the Rugby League World Cup

The Pacific nation has won every game, including a stunning 28-22 upset of the Kiwis, and on Sunday will play in its first ever semi-final against the team everyone loves to hate (besides the Aussies) - England.

Tongan fans have dominated stadiums. Homes and cars have been decked out with flags. If you can hear cars honking, chances are Tonga’s just won.

“I’ve got flags on my car. My whole family does. Mine’s got one on the bonnet and a couple of small ones on the back windows,” says superfan Mahe Likio.