How Slater and hot-shot lawyer won over NRL judiciary

Melbourne champion Billy Slater will play in Sunday's NRL grand final after successfully defending his shoulder charge citing in a near-three hour judiciary hearing.

Considered one of the biggest judiciary cases in the NRL era, the three-man panel kept Slater waiting for 54 minutes to find him not guilty on Tuesday night.

The panel consisted of Mal Cochrane, Bob Lindner and Sean Garlick.

"I'd like to thank the judiciary members for a fair hearing," Slater said, before referencing a key tactic in his success.

"It was important for me tonight to get my point across and what my intentions were in this incident.

"Now it's important for me to focus on the game. I haven't started my preparations for the game yet. That starts as of now.

"I'd also like to thank Nick (Ghabar), my lawyer, the Melbourne Storm, they've really helped me over the last four days to put this case together. Now it's time to prepare for the grand final."

Slater is the second player to win a case in grand final week behind Ghabar's representation, after Justin Hodges in 2015. 

The lawyer's arguments were strong but his moves inside the marathon hearing were just as crucial in convincing the panel.

Nick Ghabar, Billy Slater and Craig Bellamy were successful at the NRL judiciary. Pic: Getty

Ghabar began the hearing with several still images of the incident, showing different angles before planting the seeds of doubt.

One particularly cunning decision was having Slater twice stand up to demonstrate for the panel.

He based most of his defence on Feki's step initiating the collision, saying his week-long preparation for the final included watching vision of all the tries scored by both Sharks wingers across the season – including eight by Feki.

He believed the Sharks winger, as he had done all year, was headed straight for the corner post.

But he claimed he was thrown by Feki's left-foot step and had no time to change.

"When he plants that left foot his intention changes from going directly to the corner post to going directly at me," he said.

"My shoulders and my feet are heading directly to that corner post. He changes and this puts me in a vulnerable position."

Slater then got up again to show why, after seeing Feki proceed to raise his elbow upon impact, he turned his body to protect himself and his opponent from a dangerous collision.

"I've been clocked at 33km per hour at training, and I've got a nanosecond to make a decision," he said.

Even then, Slater's defence argued the first contact with Feki was with the fullback's right hand, and that the shoulder of the Sharks winger had then hit his left pectoral muscle.

Slater claimed the main force that resulted in Feki being bundled out came from his hip.

"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.

Despite being the collision, Slater said he still attempted to use both his arms, including trying to grab Feki's right arm with his left hand.

Judiciary counsel responded by arguing Slater used neither of his arms to effect the tackle.

He said Slater's right hand "had to go somewhere".

"Your left forearm and hand comes up under Feki's right arm. It's very difficult to tell but it doesn't appear to me that's an action of a wrap or attempt to wrap," he said.