Melbourne Storm are set to be hit with a fine from the NRL after fielding 14 players in the second half of their win against Sydney on Thursday night, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
During the Storm’s dominant 18-point victory over the reigning premiers, Melbourne player Suliasi Vunivalu was left concussed after an attempted tackle in the 60th minute of play.
Vunivalu was taken off the field after receiving medical treatment before the Roosters looked to have made a break in play moving forward.
Vunivalu was quick to rush back onto the field to help his side, countering the Roosters attack with an extra number in defence.
A League Central spokesperson said the club will likely receive a fine and will not face a deduction in premiership points.
“It will be reviewed as a matter of course along with other operational aspects of the round on Monday,” they said.
Both the Bulldogs and Broncos have previously faced points deductions for illegally fielding players, with both instances resulting in try’s for their respective sides.
While Melbourne’s triumphant performance was a fair warning to the rest of the league, it came with collateral as Vunivalu is set to miss Thursday night’s clash against the Eels with a broken jaw.
Jahrome Hughes will be another casualty for Craig Bellamy’s side after sustaining a groin injury in Thursday night’s win.
Bellamy applauded his team’s efforts despite a growing injury list.
I’m really proud of how our guys stuck in without the two Camerons,” Bellamy said on Thursday night. “I thought Hughesy really stood up, Ryley Jacks was good, Paps [Ryan Papenhuyzen] and Brandon [Smith] were outstanding.”