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25 Nov 2017 18:37
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Tonga and Samoa pre-game war dance lights up Rugby League World Cup

    Pacific island rivals Tonga and Samoa provide what could be the highlight of the Rugby League World Cup with an incredible pre-game war dance between the two teams.

    - article from

    Pacific island rivals Tonga and Samoa have provided what could be the highlight of the Rugby League World Cup with an incredible pre-game war dance between the two teams.

    In a stunning display showcasing passion, intimidation and cultural heritage, the two teams performed their traditional pre-game challenges — Tonga's Sipi Tau and Samoa's Siva Tau — in unison, amid a packed-out Waikato Stadium crowd in Hamilton, New Zealand.

    The crowd was adamant in its show of appreciation, cheering and screaming as both teams spent the best part of two minutes squaring off on the turf.

    Both teams began either side of the halfway line in circular huddles, with Samoa starting a synchronised clapping routine to get the crowd going, before Tonga threw down the gauntlet to the Samoans from across the pitch.

    By the end of the war cries, both sets of players were mere metres away from each other, before both teams ended their war dances with applause in a show of appreciation for the other.

    Tonga won out 32-18 to book a first-ever spot in the World Cup semi-finals, leaving Samoa in a do-or-die clash with Scotland to determine who qualifies as the third team from Pool B.

    But knowing they had been part of something truly special, both teams joined together in a post-match huddle on bended knee, as the crowd again stayed back to show their appreciation for the spectacle.

    The match-up was keenly anticipated by rugby league fans, especially given Tonga's snapping up of a host of star players in the lead-up to the World Cup.

    Shock inclusions of NRL stars Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita were huge additions to a Tongan squad already boasting Michael Jennings, Konrad Hurrel, Manu Ma'u and Will Hopoate.

    Players from both Australia and New Zealand have said Tonga looms as a threat at the Rugby League World Cup.

    © 2017 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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