St George Illawarra player Tim Lafai has denied that he or any of his teammates landed a coward’s punch in an early Sunday morning fight.
The incident has led to both he and Siliva Havili being stood down by the NRL club after they were charged by police.
However the centre said he, Havili and teammate Dunamis Lui were outnumbered by a group of men in a Wollongong nightclub before a man was allegedly hit in the head and knocked unconscious.
“Hope your brother [Harris] is alright but we never dog shotted any of the boys we were just trying to defend ourselves, sorry again for your bro I honestly hope he’s ok. God bless,” Lafai said in a text message obtained by Fairfax Media.
“We’ve never liked fighting, it’s the last thing we wanted, we were out numbered [sic] there was only 4 of us and it seemed like there were a lot of boys who were trying to fight us.
“Two of our own mates got dog shot and that’s what kept sparking things up.”
The texts are part of a conversation between Lafai and a friend of Reed Harris, the Port Kembla man who was left unconscious.
However Lafai conceded in other messages that Harris may not have been a part of the group that sparked an earlier altercation at the night spot.
Fairfax also reports that the brother of Harris has claimed the hit was made by Havili outside the Fever club.
Both Lafai and Havili were later arrested for disobeying a police directive.
They were charged with affray and offensive behaviour on Monday evening.