But Asofa-Solomona told the Storm website he could have simply walked away rather than hanging around and unleashing a flurry of punches at the men who had set upon Vunivalu minutes earlier.
“We went to bar La Favela, we were having a good time like I said, there was an altercation with Suli I saw,” Asofa-Solomona said. “At that point in time I was in shock, I didn’t know what to do, we all got ushered outside.
“I was by Suli’s side, just aiding him, making sure he was OK, asking if he needed stitches and should we go back to the villa.
“Obviously things escalated between myself and a group of boys.
“Looking back at that now, I think to myself, ‘could have I went another way about it?’ Yes I could. I could have picked up Suli and got out of there.
“[But] at that point in time I felt like I had to defend myself and my teammates.”
Asofa-Solomona said the players had enjoyed their holiday up until that point, and even posed for photographs and signed autographs inside the club.
He admitted he and Vunivalu, who required seven stitches to a cut below his right eye and right nostril, had forged a close friendship when they came through the under-20s together at Melbourne.
The Herald revealed at the start of the week Asofa-Solomona risked being suspended for three matches for the incident and the fact it was caught on video.
NRL boss Todd Greenberg hinted as much when he said on Wednesday: “If you’re in a situation like that where there is trouble brewing, walk away.
“Take yourself out of that situation. And make very smart choices particularly late at night. That is my advice to players.”
Greg Inglis was stripped of the Kangaroos captaincy and stood down for two Tests for drink driving this time last year.
The Kiwis were privately anticipating being without their prop forward for next Friday’s clash against Australia followed by two internationals against the touring Great Britain Lions.
Asofa-Solomona thanked all his supporters while adding he would always have Vunivalu’s back.
“We’ve got each other’s back all the time,” Asofa-Solomona said.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.