Storm star to tell all about Bali brawl
Melbourne's Nelson Asofa-Solomona has arrived back in Australia vowing "my side of the story will soon be told" after allegedly being involved in a violent street fight in Bali.
The giant Storm forward has cut short an end-of-season trip with teammates to return home and face questions over an incident that was partly captured on a mobile phone.
When Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu was coward punched outside a Bali nightclub over the weekend, front-row enforcer Asofa-Solomona allegedly took matters into his own hands.
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He told Storm officials in a phone call that he became involved in the fight after a patron had attacked his teammate in an unprovoked assault.
His version of events has been backed up by eyewitnesses.
"He just went berserk," according to a source in Bali, "His mate got whacked and he went off."
Storm officials organised for Asofa-Solomona to return to Melbourne immediately. "My side of the story will be told soon," he told Channel 7, after landing at Melbourne Airport on Monday morning.
Asofa-Solomona will front chief executive Dave Donaghy and face questioning from the NRL integrity unit.
Storm officials are expected to come down hard on the front-rower. That he was reacting to Vunivalu being assaulted will not save him from a possible fine or suspension.
"Storm takes these type of incidents very seriously," a spokesman said.
"While it is admirable for a front-rower to protect teammates on the football field, the fact he took the law into his own hands will not help his case."
Another Storm official said: "No matter what the circumstances are, we don't accept this sort of behaviour."
Nearly a dozen Melbourne Storm players have been in Bali for several days on an end of season trip, including Josh Addo-Carr, Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi, Brandon Smith and Tui Kamikamica.
Asofa-Solomona's position in the Kiwi squad for upcoming Test matches against Australia and Great Britain is now in doubt considering New Zealand's hard stance on disciplinary issues in recent years.