PREVIEW 🔍 Robert Crosby looks at what to expect in Sunday night's second State of Origin clash.
9 hours ago
Melbourne Storm is expected to seek a downgrade in fullback Billy Slater's six match ban on a kicking charge at the National Rugby League Judiciary tomorrow night.
The club has until 3pm today to decide whether to accept the penalty on Slater for an incident during the Storm's loss to Wests Tigers in Sydney last weekend. But Storm chief executive Brian Waldron says it's likely it will go to a judiciary hearing in the hope of reducing Slater's suspension.
If he is banned for six matches Slater won't be able again before the first State Of Origin match in Sydney on May 24th. Meanwhile, the NRL has confirmed Storm five-eighth Scott Hill faces a two week suspension for manhandling the referee - not three weeks - as he is eligible for a seven year incident free discount.
Waldron indicated the Storm will accept that and plead guilty.
Canberra hooker Simon Woolford will dispute the grading of his careless high tackle charge at the NRL judiciary tomorrow. The former Raiders skipper has pleaded guilty, but will try to have his suspension downgraded from a two-week ban for his tackle on Penrith prop Joel Clinton in the 75th minute of their match on Saturday night.
Wests Tigers forward Anthony Laffranchi has been banned for two games after taking the early plea for his grade one dangerous throw in Sunday's match with Melbourne.
Parramatta second rower Chad Robinson has also copped a one-match suspension for his grade two striking charge. The three other Eels players cited from their clash with North Queensland last Friday - Brett Delaney, Justin Tsoulos and Paul Stringer - have all escaped punishment with early pleas.
Tigers lock Jamaal Lolesi will also be free to play this weekend after pleading guilty for a grade two high tackle.