Rugby World Cup 2015: All Blacks and Tonga pray together after brutal battle

New Zealand's Nehe Milner Skudder celebrates scoring a tryReuters

Rugby giants New Zealand paused to pray with their opponents, Tonga, after their bruising battle last week.

New Zealand, one of the favourites to go on and win the tournament, beat Tonga 47-9 in their final game of the group stages. However before Tonga departed the Rugby World Cup, they gathered in a huddle on the pitch with some of their opponents and knelt to pray.

Tongan captain, Nili Latu, has previously spoken of how his team's faith is the glue bonding them together.

"Everything revolves around our faith. Without it we have no direction going into the World Cup. It's something unique that we have as Tongans. If you look at how other teams are preparing with their sponsorship and stuff like that, we don't have that, but our faith holds us together.

"It's like a dictionary or manual, it tells us what to do in our whole lives, and we try to apply it to our work on the field as well."

More than 90 per cent of the Tongan population practises some form of Christian faith and the rugby team see their rugby as bringing praise to God.

"When we play on Sundays we try to use it as if we're in church, by glorifying and honouring God with the talents he blessed us with," said prop Viliami Ma'afu before their game with Argentina on Sunday 4 October.

With one win out of four, Tonga will not join New Zealand in the knock out stages of the tournament which begin next Saturday 17 October.

However Tonga will exit the world cup with their heads held high after making the reigning champions, New Zealand, work hard for their victory.

"I am really proud of the way the boys played tonight," said Latu after the game. "I am sure they left everything out on the field."