Despite huge defeat to All Blacks, Tongan fans fill Hamilton with pride

Post-match Hamilton had a black and red buzz on Saturday afternoon that was only getting livelier as darkness fell.

Laughter burst out across Victoria St from balconies filled with fans, the pub windows crowded through with classic black and white jerseys.

But Tongan fans stilled showed their colours - their pops of red jutted out from afar, in crimson caps, coats and tracksuits.

Despite the 92-7 defeat, Tongan supporters brought good cheer and charm while they looked to dine out on the city's hospitality.

Tamz Taumalolo​ was easily spotted in red and white floral headdress. She had travelled down from South Auckland with friends and loved the game's atmosphere.

"It was amazing. You know they say the final try is the winning try," she laughed, "the other 78 minutes didn't matter one bit."

"There's absolutely no feeling of sadness, Tonga's saving it all up for the World Cup." 

All Blacks fans wrapped in scarves were enjoying post-match analysis too, some almost felt a little bad about the thrashing.

"I expected us to win, but it was almost a bit much to be honest," Ed Lunt said.

"We definitely all clapped when Tonga scored at the end."

And he was reserving some "quiet confidence" for the All Black's world cup winning chances.

"For me, this game doesn't change too much, but I'm glad we had no injuries."

Fans were enjoying each other's company, one large group from Tauranga and Rarotonga was a "blended family" of Tongan and New Zealand fans, Jodie Gallop said.

One member pulled a red flag from his All Black's coat and waved it vigorously in the air.

Tom Vea, from Rarotonga, said he would "always, always" wear red with pride.

"That's where the heart is," he said.