Storm fullback right to play against Canterbury in round three
Melbourne Storm star Billy Slater is free to square off against the Canterbury Bulldogs after escaping penalty.
The Melbourne Storm should be at full-strength for their grand final replay with the Canterbury Bulldogs after fullback Billy Slater avoided suspension by the NRL match review committee.
Slater was hit with a dangerous contact charge in his side’s dominant 32-10 win against the North Queensland Cowboys when he knocked out Antonio Winterstein.
With the early guilty plea for the grade one charge, Slater will be free to play. However, Storm teammate Siosaia Vave will miss one game for his grade one dangerous contact hit on Cowboys prop Matthew Scott with carry-over points being into consideration.
With Slater dodging a penalty for his tackle, it sets up a blockbuster clash against the Canterbury Bulldogs in a grand final replay from 2012.
Despite Bulldogs coach Des Hasler publicly stating Ben Barba will not play in round three, after rejoining the side after undergoing treatment for alcohol and gambling problems, the Storm expect to see him run out in the number one jersey.
“I’m not quite sure whether Ben’s going to play or not but we’ll certainly be preparing as though he is,” Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy said on Sunday.
“Obviously everyone tells me he’s back in training now with the Bulldogs so, like I say, we’ll be preparing as if he’s playing.”
In other judiciary news, Sydney Roosters backrower Boyd Cordner will be free to play against the Brisbane broncos at Allianz Stadium after escaping punishment for his grade one tripping charge.