Felise Kaufusi condemned by NRL fans over 'disgraceful' incident

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Pictured right, Storm forward Felise Kaufusi's forearm strikes Roosters playmaker Sam Walker's head.
Storm forward Felise Kaufusi has come under fire after a brutal incident involving Roosters playmaker Sam Walker. Pic: Getty/Fox Sports

Melbourne Storm forward Felise Kaufusi has come under fire from NRL fans after a nasty incident involving teenage Roosters playmaker Sam Walker on Saturday night.

The 19-year-old Roosters five-eighth had to leave the field for a head injury assessment (HIA) in the second half of his side's 26-18 loss against the Storm at the SCG.

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Walker came off second best in the tackle on the Queensland Origin forward, who appeared to use his forearm to drive the Roosters star's head into the ground.

Video footage seemed to show Kaufusi raising his ball-carrying arm at the last second, in what many perceived to be a deliberate act.

On Sunday, Kaufusi was handed a grade-one dangerous contact charge and escaped with a fine, meaning he's free to play in State of Origin II.

The incident had similarities to one that saw Kaufusi cop a two-game ban for dangerous contact on Eels forward Ryan Matterson last year.

Fox Sports commentator Greg Alexander pulled no punches when suggesting that the Walker shot was a deliberate act by Kaufusi, with angry viewers also echoing those sentiments.

“He does have history. Do you think he moved that elbow? Okay, I’ll say it, I think he meant what we saw. He knew exactly what he was doing.”

Andrew Voss replied: “He knew what he was doing. He knew where his forearm was in relation to the defender. That’s one again for post-match (review).”

To add insult to injury for the Roosters, Kaufusi crossed for a try shortly after the incident as the under-strength Storm ran out eight-point winners.

Missing the likes of Ryan Papenhuyzen, Xavier Coates and Reimis Smith to injury from his backline, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy was thrilled with his team's performance as they cut Penrith's lead at the top of the ladder to just two points.

Under-strength Melbourne Storm get the job done

Of the starting backline to face the Chooks, only Papua New Guinean wrecking ball Justin Olam would have been considered a first-choice pick at the start of the year.

"He came up against Joey Manu, who is a good player who has been one of the best in the comp this year," Bellamy said.

"That was a personal duel for Justin."

Olam is nearing a new contract extension with the Storm, and proved his worth with a game-high 181 running metres from 17 carries.

"He was showing the other guys the way. He's playing busted to be quite honest," Bellamy said.

"They are really inexperienced - the two wingers and the centres - and Justin stood up and did a great job."

Stand-in fullback Nick Meaney was undervalued at Canterbury, while one winger was debutant Grant Anderson and the other - 20-year-old Victorian junior Dean Ieremia - has just 14 NRL games under his belt.

Olam's fellow centre Marion Seve has endured a difficult return to NRL level after a knee reconstruction and still only has 25 first-grade games to his name.

Despite facing a back five that included NSW captain James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou, Manu and wonderkid Joseph Suaalii, both Seve and Anderson bagged tryscoring doubles.

Anderson, who has been part of the Storm's feeder system with the Sunshine Coast after being let go by the Newcastle Knights, was mobbed by tearful relatives after his exploits on debut.

Seen here, Melbourne rookie Grant Anderson celebrates scoring a try against the Roosters at the SCG.
Melbourne rookie Grant Anderson celebrates scoring a try against the Roosters at the SCG. Pic: Getty

"He's been down to train for four weeks at a time but, with all due respect, we never thought we'd put him in," Bellamy said.

"Centre is his preferred position. He was going to be down for five weeks during Origin and I think (after Saturday's game) that'll get extended.

"When Xavier went down we thought we'd put in (former rugby sevens player) Will Warbrick and he hurt his calf so Anderson was the last man standing.

"His family came in last night and his dad was reduced to tears. He did one hell of a job."

with AAP

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