Kaufusi avoids ban, free to play Origin II

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Queensland star Felise Kaufusi is free to play in State of Origin II after he escaped with a fine for his elbow to the head of Sydney Roosters halfback Sam Walker.

Kaufusi has been handed a grade-one dangerous contact charge for the first-half incident in Melbourne's win over the Roosters on Saturday night.

The Storm second-rower first tried to bump Walker off in a tackle, before he then appeared to drive his head into the ground as they went down.

The teenage playmaker was taken off the field for a HIA, but was cleared of any concussion and returned in the second half.

Working in television commentary, NSW coaching advisor Greg Alexander was among those who were critical, claiming Kaufusi had deliberately driven Walker's head down.

Had Kaufusi been handed a grade-two charge, he would have faced a minimum of two games on the sideline even with an early guilty plea.

That would have meant him missing Origin Game II for the Maroons in Perth on June 26.

But he will instead be able to take an $1800 fine with a guilty plea, while that would grow to $2500 if he was to fight it and lose.

Kaufusi was given a two-week ban by the NRL for a similar incident involving Parramatta's Ryan Matterson last season.

"I didn't see it but I don't think he got penalised for it," Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy said after play.

"You think if there was something that was wrong with it you'd expect the bunker to step in if it wasn't within the rules."

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