Down 16-2 at half-time, Tonga rallied in the second stanza to put on 22 unanswered points in front of a sold out crowd.

The sides almost came to blows before the ball was touched in a fiery encounter in which both teams showcased their respective pre-game rituals in a sign this match was going to have a lot of feeling after several former Kiwi players defected to Tonga for the World Cup.

Jason Taumalolo headlined the defectors which included Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Sika Manu.

Australia's Andrew Fifita also changed allegiances to Tonga to form a formidable side. 

Taumalolo’s walkout means he may not get to wear the New Zealand jersey again as confirmed by coach David Kidwell.

However, future maybes would have been the furthest thing from the champion Cowboy's mind as his country put together arguably the most courageous World Cup victory in history.

It was the first time a tier one nation has lost to a tier two nation at the World Cup. 

More to come.