Suliasi Vunivalu assaulted in Bali
Suliasi Vunivalu assaulted in Bali

Revealed: The blood that sparked Bali brawl

THIS is the battered face of Melbourne Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu, the victim of a coward punch inside a Bali nightclub over the weekend.

The king-hit is what instigated a vicious street brawl involving front-row teammate Nelson Asofa-Solomona who went berserk and took matters into his own hands to deal with the attacker.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the Storm front-rower is facing a two-game ban from New Zealand's Test matches against Australia on October 25 in Wollongong and against England on November 9.

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There is expected to be a financial penalty as well.

As of Monday night, the NRL integrity unit had no evidence to challenge the Storm's version of events in that Asofa-Solomona reacted to his teammate Vunivalu being coward punched, as revealed by The Daily Telegraph on Monday.

The owner of La Favela bar also insisted the Storm players had been antagonised by other late-night revellers before the fight took place.

Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy spent much of Monday with Asofa-Solomona and the club's welfare officers to get more details of what happened.

"Nelson has put his hand up and admitted he's done the wrong thing," Donaghy said, "He knows he could have taken another option.

Suliasi Vunivalu was assaulted in Bali
Suliasi Vunivalu was assaulted in Bali

"He again made the point that he was looking after a mate."

Asked about the photo of Vunivalu, Donaghy said: "He got hit twice. It was unprovoked. There was concern for him. Suli was bleeding all over his shirt and taken out of the club.

"That's where the bloke who punched him had been thrown out."

Former NRL star and Fox Sports commentator Braith Anasta was in Bali with the Storm players.

He also defended the club and players in a lengthy post on social media.

"I feel like I have to defend the Storm players over here in Bali on their end of season trip," Anasta wrote.

Asofa-Solomona is facing a two-match suspension and a heavy fine.
Asofa-Solomona is facing a two-match suspension and a heavy fine.

"I spent the whole afternoon and night with them before the incident with Nelson took place.

"Every single one of them were complete gentleman. Every one of them gave their time to take photos and speak to fans etc. These young men are amazing role models for the Melbourne Storm and our game of rugby league."

The Daily Telegraph understands Vunivalu was taken to a local medical centre for treatment.

Earlier Storm coach Craig Bellamy told The Daily Telegraph his giant front-rower Asofa-Solomona would never go looking for a street fight.

"Nelson is not the sort of bloke to provoke anything," Bellamy said, "but if a teammate's in a bit of strife he'll go in and stick up for him.

Asofa-Solomona returned to Australia on Monday. Picture by Seven News/Twitter.
Asofa-Solomona returned to Australia on Monday. Picture by Seven News/Twitter.

"I know him well and he'll only get aggressive if someone is being picked on."

The NRL integrity unit is at this stage monitoring Melbourne's own investigation.

Anasta has been holidaying in Bali with his partner Rachael Lee

"I do not condone the behaviour of Nelson but there is a complete other side to this story," he said.

"One of his mates was king hit and he was also being threatened with a glass object. Nelson was defending his teammates.

"Again I do not condone this behaviour but to hammer the whole of the Storm and their players over this is a complete over-reaction and in my opinion completely out of line.

"I just feel that as an ex player and commentator being over here in Bali and seeing it first-hand the truth needed to be told."

News Corp Australia


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