State of Origin opponents Boyd Cordner and Billy Slater will be at it again on Sunday. Picture. Phil Hillyard
State of Origin opponents Boyd Cordner and Billy Slater will be at it again on Sunday. Picture. Phil Hillyard

Cordner slams Slater verdict

ROOSTERS skipper Boyd Cordner is typically reserved in his criticism, but did not hold back when asked about Billy Slater escaping a grand final suspension for a shoulder charge.

Speaking on Triple M's The Grill Team on Wednesday morning after the NRL judiciary panel voted against suspending the Melbourne fullback for Sunday's decider, Cordner said he was now confused as to what constituted a shoulder charge.

"After that I don't know what a shoulder charge is anymore. I think you're all sitting there thinking the same thing," Cordner said.

"Although it's good to have a legend of our game and one of the best ever play his last game in a grand final, on the other hand you sit there scratching your head about what are the rules around that.

"For me it's a shoulder charge.

"We can't do much about it. We're playing the Storm with a full-strength team."

However, he admitted he thought Slater would escape suspension for his hit on Cronulla's Sosaia Feki once the Storm star chose to fight the charge.

"I always thought he would play. I think everyone did. Either way there was going to be some noise about it. Everyone, just move on. We were preparing for Billy to play anyway," Cordner said.

The Storm will be at full strength for the grand final.

Slater's escape from suspension and Cordner's comments have added to the theatre of the decider as former Storm halfback Cooper Cronk battles a shoulder injury to be fit to play for the Roosters.

Cordner said Cronk's chance of playing was not good, but he would be given up until game day to prove his fitness and would  work with the team all week leading into Sunday's decider.

"It doesn't look too good at the moment but there's a slight chance - if I was to back anyone in it would be Cooper Cronk," Cordner said.

"He's the first one on the physio table and he's doing everything he can. It wouldn't surprise us if he plays on Sunday.

"He's a hands-on guy. This is the only game he's been in doubt for all year.

"I think the impact on the group he has, his experience and talk is invaluable. He'll stand up through the week because if anyone knows what grand final week is all about it's him."


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