Tongan fans

The night Tonga roared to life

As Tonga closed in on a drought-breaking win over Pacific Island rivals Samoa in the first Pacific Test in Penrith in April 2013, the exuberant red army of Tongan supporters could no longer be contained.

A few made their way onto the field as Samisoni Langi lined up the conversion of his own try six minutes from full-time, one getting so far as to be able to give Langi a congratulatory pat on the back before departing in his best 'Hayne Plane' impression.

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.

Plea for family zone in Auckland for Tonga league test fans

They have asked the Auckland Council and RLWC 2017 to help set up the family zone.

The Tonga Advisory Council said a hastily organised family zone last week helped to prevent the disorder and congestion problems experienced after the game against New Zealand two weeks ago.

The Council's Melino Maka said events need to be provided to cater for fans in a controlled environment that is safe.

He said the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board earlier declined the proposal for a zone there.

Airport turns Tongan fans away: 'It's almost like it's a racial thing'

The winner of today's Tonga vs Lebanon game in Christchurch will make the Rugby League World Cup semi-finals in Auckland next weekend.

The airport has issued an advisory saying if Tonga wins, they will transfer straight onto a bus and leave the airport without going through the domestic terminal on their return to Auckland.

Airport spokeswoman Lisa Mulitalo said the airport understood the pride the Tongan community had in their team and was proud to support the welcome event on the team's arrival into the country on October 30, when 3500 supporters turned up.