Police plead with Tongan fans not to support protest action

Tongan rugby league fans have been warned not to join planned protests in downtown Auckland tonight.

Counties Manukau Police Constable Sione Taufa has posted on Facebook with a Tongan-language message, entreating fans not to take part in any protests.

This evening, a protest is under way in downtown Auckland, after a controversial referee decision lead to Tonga losing their Rugby League World Cup match to England. 

The Tongan side were denied a match-winning try in the game's final play, when Australian referee Matt Cecchin ruled a knock-on, without consulting a video replay.

Tonight's protest will be the third in as many days, since the side's 20-18 defeat on Saturday night. 

“Any demonstration causes significant disruption for other members of the community and uses a lot of valuable police resources, which could be used to prevent crimes,” Constable Taufa says in his message.

Constable Taufa also pushed back against reports that the Tongan King is supporting protests action.

“There has been some talk on social media that the Tongan King is supporting protest action by supporters and encouraging them to take part in public demonstrations, following last weekend's league match. This is not true.”