Boyd Cordner has taken a shot at the NRL over the decision to let Billy Slater off his shoulder charge suspension.
The Sydney Roosters captain admits he’s confused about the shoulder-charge rule after Slater’s judiciary win on Tuesday.
Slater is free to play for Melbourne in the grand final against the Roosters on Sunday after a three-person panel found the champion fullback not guilty of the act last week.
“After that I don’t know what a shoulder charge is anymore,” Cordner said on Triple M radio on Wednesday.
“I think you’re all sitting there thinking the same thing.”
Cordner said it was good to see the retiring legend farewell the game in a grand final, but was not happy with the call.
“But on the other hand you sit there scratching your head about what actually are the rules around that,” he said.
“For me, personally, it was a shoulder charge.”
The result means the NRL could now be under pressure to tighten its shoulder charge laws, particularly in the event where a player is coming from side on to force a collision.
And while the NSW State of Origin captain believed Slater was guilty of the charge, he expected the 35-year-old to be cleared by the panel.
“I always thought he would play. I think everyone did,” Cordner said.
“Either way there was going to be some noise about it. Everyone, just move on. We were preparing for Billy to play anyway.”
Cordner also provided an update on the shoulder injury to teammate Cooper Cronk, saying there remains a small chance the two-time premiership-winner could play at ANZ Stadium.
“It doesn’t look too good at the moment but there is a slight chance and if I was going to be backing anyone in to play it would be Cooper Cronk,” Cordner said.
“Being in at training, especially yesterday, he’s the first one on the physio table doing his rehab. He’s leaving no stone unturned, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to us if he does pull through.”
How Slater and lawyer won over the judiciary
Slater twice got up in front of the panel to demonstrate how Sosaia Feki’s step had resulted in the 35-year-old taking evasive action to avoid dangerous contact with the Cronulla winger.
He claimed that despite the collision, his right hand was the first point of contact and his left hand had attempted to grab Feki’s right arm.
He also suggested Feki cocked his elbow prior to the collision, forcing Slater to turn his body, and that it was the force from his hip that cannoned the Sharks player over the sideline.
“I’ve still got a tenderness on my hip today and it was four days ago. That was the force of the hips colliding,” Slater said during the hearing.
The controversial decision is likely to ignite further debate on the shoulder charge, with former Kangaroos captain Brad Fittler claiming the ruling would set a precedent prior to the hearing.