Star fullback treads a fine line with his errant feet.
Melbourne Storm star Billy Slater has avoided suspension for his boot to the face of the Bulldogs’ David Klemmer after the NRL match review committee ruled it as accidental.
Slater, who was slapped on report during his side’s 22-18 win over Canterbury in a replay of last year’s grand final, jumped to diffuse a kick with his right boot collecting Klemmer as he came through to pressure the custodian.
Upon examining the footage of the incident closer, the match review committee said it was an accidental reflex and that Klemmer never looked to directly contest the ball.
“Whilst on first view it was an incident of concern, the match review committee found that player Slater was in the air competing for the ball when contact was made between his foot and the neck of player Klemmer, who was not contesting the ball,” the committee said in a statement.
“In our opinion the contact was accidental and player Slater did not breach his duty of care. We did not view the contact as careless.
“A player from the defending team is entitled to contest the ball in the air under the assumption he will land before an opposition player attempts to tackle him.”
If Slater was slapped with a charge, even if it was at the lower end of the scale of severity, he most likely would have missed at least one game as he had 75 carry-over points he earned from the previous week, when he was hit with a dangerous contact charge for his hit on Antonio Winterstein.