Felise Kaufusi looked right at home in his first taste of finals football.
The emerging second rower was one of Melbourne’s best during the Qualifying Final win over the Eels at AAMI Park.
Kaufusi ran for 107 metres and made 25 tackles, carrying on from a stellar season that has seen him play every game so far in 2017.
The electric nature of finals football proved to be a terrific learning experience for the 25-year-old and fellow finals debutants Slade Griffin, Josh Addo-Carr and Curtis Scott.
“There were a few of us boys who hadn’t experienced finals footy before,” Kaufusi said.
“To get a taste of that was completely different from your Rounds 1-26. It was a tough game, it is a different brand of football.”
It was Kaufusi that produced the crucial moment in the game, breaking through the Eels line in the 46th minute with the ball eventually finding Kenny Bromwich for crossed under the posts to level the scores.
The play was one of the most remarkable you will see all season, with 10 different Storm players touching the football as it transferred from left to right.
It may not have been quite the plan developed on the training track but proved just as effective.
“The eyes lit up that’s for sure,” Kaufusi said.
“I got a bit lucky, offloaded to Nelson and he got one away to Kenny to finish it off, it was pretty special.
“It was a bit of a ‘see what happens’. I saw the space, took the space and we ended up scoring from there. It definitely gave us a bit of a boost when Kenny went over. Everyone rushed over, congratulated him, it was a pretty big turning point.”