Tongans celebrate historic victory

Thousands of diehard Kau To’a fans dressed in red and paraded from the Nuku’alofa waterfront to the Central Business District Friday.

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.

The national league body was eventually suspended by the Rugby League International.

Because of the bitter dispute, the Tongan team played under the name, Tongan invitation XIII and not Mate Ma’a Tonga, a solution brokered by the international rugby league authorities.