28 Sep 2009

NRL superstar cleared to play in Grand Final

8:30 am on 28 September 2009

Sanity has prevailed at the National Rugby League headquarters with a three-man match review committee giving Paramatta star Jarred Hayne the all clear to take his place in next week's grand final.

Denying the public a one-on-one battle between Hayne and the Australian and Melbourne fullback Billy Slater, the only man who has come close to matching the exploits of his Parramatta rival, would have been a travesty.

In a year when rugby league has lurched from one off-field atrocity to the next, Hayne's remarkable transformation from Kings Cross target practice to NRL pin-up boy has created headlines for all the right reasons.

For all that to have been brought down for a careless act in a moment of desperation would have turned grand final week into a farce.

Yes, Hayne's knee hit Bryson Goodwin in the head and, yes, the Bulldogs winger may have been left a little worse for wear.

But to deny someone a grand final berth as a result would simply not have been fair.

By the same token, Greg McCallum and his band of merry men would have been criticised - and rightly so - had Hayne got off scot free.

After all, every NRL player has a certain duty of care, and Hayne was careless in leading with the knee.

Enter the grade one dangerous contact charge, the cure of all ills.

Cop the early guilty plea and take your place at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

The match review committee could not be accused of turning a blind eye to the dangerous act of diving at the head of tryscorers, while the game's best player would be allowed to showcase his skills on the season's biggest day.

Grade one dangerous contact - the ultimate win-win.