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Tonga and Samoa rugby league stars produce spine-tingling war cries, it's the moment of the tournament

Jayden Collins

| Last updated 

Tonga and Samoa rugby league stars produce spine-tingling war cries, it's the moment of the tournament

The Rugby League world cup quarter-final matchup between Pacific Island rivals Tonga and Samoa produced perhaps the greatest moment of the tournament.

And it happened before the game had even kicked off.

Before we were treated to a nail-biting 20-18 Samoa victory, we were subject to an incredible pre-game spectacle between the two sides.

Led by Samoa’s Junior Paulo and Tonga’s Silva Havili, the teams went toe-to-toe in their respective spine-tingling Sipi Taus.

However, rather than each team taking turns performing their respective rituals, it was decided beforehand that they would perform them at the same time as a mark of respect.

It was truly an incredible moment as fans at Warrington and watching from home couldn’t help but feel the goosebumps rising.

The intensity was palpable and you could feel the stadium rocking by the end of the routine.

As both teams came to the conclusion of their performances they each shook hands and hugged as a massive sign of the love and respect between the two communities.

Truly fantastic scenes.

Samoan captain Junior Paulo revealed that it was decided just prior to the ceremony that both teams would perform the routine together.

He said, via Fox Sports: “When we headed out to the coin toss there was talks about who was going to go first.

“I just spoke to Jase (Taumalolo) and threw the question out there if we wanted to do it together thinking it’s a good sign of unity between the two nations and the support over rugby league in general.

“It’s a really proud moment, for myself too, my partner’s Tongan and my kids are half and half so it’s always going to be a tough conversation about who to support.

“But I think that’s the best thing about celebrating both cultures.”

It isn’t the first time each team has treated the World Cup to a spectacle.

Back in 2017 at the Waikato Stadium in New Zealand, the two teams engaged in pre-game war cries, led again that time by Havili and Paulo.

Samoa came out victors by a short margin in a game that was as intense as the pre-game ritual.

They’ll go on to face tournament hosts England in the semi-finals.

They’ll be hoping to redeem their opening 60-6 loss.

Featured Image Credit: @RLWC2021/Twitter.

Topics: NRL, Rugby League, Australia

Jayden Collins
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