Billy Slater collides with Sosaia Feki on Friday night. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty
Billy Slater collides with Sosaia Feki on Friday night. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty

Gould backs Slater to beat charge

PHIL Gould has thrown his support behind Billy Slater to beat a charge for his hit on Sosaia Feki.

Slater is set to miss the grand final and his last game of rugby league before retiring, unless he can successfully fight the charge at the judiciary.

However, Gould believes Slater had no other option but to collide with Feki the way he did and that it was the safest option given the situation.

"Billy Slater risks serious injury to himself with any other kind of tackle under the circumstances," Gould tweeted.

"These players are at full speed. The best result for both players was the collision that took place. Less danger for both. No one injured. Play on."

Gorden Tallis also backed Slater to beat the charge.

"I think he got his right arm around, so I don't think it was a copybook shoulder charge," Tallis said.

Wendell Sailor echoed Tallis's sentiments on Triple M.

"He is going across 100 miles an hour and he does brace," Sailor explained.

"I know he is making an attempt to stop him, but he also tries to get his right arm there.

"Even though he doesn't get there I reckon there is enough in it for him not to be suspended."

Ryan Girdler was also of the belief that Slater was not intending to use his shoulder in the tackle.

"I think they will take into consideration that it is not a premeditated shoulder charge," Girdler said.

"I think why they got rid of the shoulder charge was so your big guys couldn't charge out of the line with their shoulder cocked and really try and knock someone.

"With the speed of the contest sometimes you don't have time to think about what you are doing and it is a reactive instinct to prepare your body for contact."

However Bryan Fletcher was less convinced that Slater could successfully challenge the charge at the judiciary.

"If you look at the rule book that is a shoulder charge," Fletcher said.

"I think it would be a great shame if Billy was denied his farewell game, but if you go by the rules he will do very well to get off."

Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi confirmed the club would fight the charge and said he was confident Slater could get off.