Felise wants GF victory for Kaufusi family

It’s not exactly a family curse but Melbourne’s Felise Kaufusi is hoping Sunday’s grand final snaps a run of bad luck surrounding the NRL decider.

Felise’s older brother former Test prop Antonio spent six seasons with the Storm but missed their 2007 NRL grand final victory after suffering a knee injury.

He was in the 2008 grand final side but Melbourne were thumped 40-0 by Manly.

Felise’s younger brother Patrick should be lining up at ANZ Stadium, but the 23-year-old Cowboys prop will miss the grand final after suffering a Lisfranc fracture of his foot while playing for Tonga in May.

Even Felise has a tale of woe after he played 21 games for Melbourne last season but was dropped for the last three games and missed the grand final loss to Cronulla.

“My brother (Antonio) has been pretty unlucky with his grand finals so hopefully this year we can go all the way,” 25-year-old Felise said.

“He’s told me to just try and enjoy the week and soak it up because you don’t make it to the grand final often.”

The Bundaberg-based Kaufusi family have long been supporters of both grand final teams.

Patrick has played 22 games with North Queensland since 2015 but has signed a two-year deal to join Melbourne next season.

Now retired, Antonio played eight seasons with the Storm before heading north for two years, while Felise played in the Cowboys under 20 team but didn’t make his NRL debut until 2015 after shifting to Melbourne.

But with Patrick missing the big game the Kaufusi family loyalties won’t be split, with Felise ensuring they all have plenty of Storm purple to wear.

“I wish he was playing because it would be good for our family but hopefully they will be purple supporters this weekend,” he said.

Second-rower Felise has been a revelation for the Storm this season, producing more offloads than any Melbourne forward while he’s also scored eight tries to be on the cusp of Queensland Origin selection.

Felise said backyard footy with his brothers gave him those skills.

“I was always the fast one,” he said.

“Antonio was the big one and Patty also had a big frame and I used to run straight around the outside of them.”

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