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Vunivalu dodges NRL ban for flying knees

AAP logoAAP 13/08/2017 Steve Zemek and Melissa Woods

Vunivalu may have tried to hurdle Connor Watson and Aidan Guerra as he came to the defensive line, but his knees were at head height as they tackled him. He was penalised and put on report. © Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images Vunivalu may have tried to hurdle Connor Watson and Aidan Guerra as he came to the defensive line, but his knees were at head height as they tackled him. He was penalised and put on report. Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu has escaped NRL suspension for his bizarre flying knees incident.

Vunivalu was on Sunday given a contrary conduct charge by the match review committee and can escape with a $1100 fine with an early guilty plea.

The Fijian provided one of the oddest moments of the NRL season when he leapt with raised knees between two tacklers as he returned the ball from a kick during the Storm's 16-13 win over the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night.

Vunivalu may have tried to hurdle Connor Watson and Aidan Guerra as he came to the defensive line, but his knees were at head height as they tackled him. He was penalised and put on report.

"I'm not quite sure what Suli was trying to do there, probably ask Suli, it was probably a bit of a brain fade," Storm coach Craig Bellamy said.

"It was a pretty big play in the game to be quite honest, I think they scored on the end of that penalty, so hopefully he learns a lesson and he doesn't do it again."

Bellamy said because Vunivalu didn't hurt Guerra or Watson with his knee it wasn't deserving of anything more than a penalty.

"I think they're probably scratching their heads at home at the moment wondering what it was," Bellamy said.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson was equally puzzled but said it shouldn't be part of the game.

"How do you comment on that? You just haven't seen it in the game before, what do you make of it," Robinson said.

"It was something that you shouldn't see in rugby league."

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