Billy Slater's controversial 'drop kick' try.
Billy Slater's controversial 'drop kick' try.

Fittler calls for drop-kick rule change

RUGBY league legends Brad Fittler and Peter Sterling have called for the NRL to change the drop-kick rule which allowed for Billy Slater's controversial try on Friday night.

Slater was awarded a kick-and-chase try in Melbourne's win over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium, after he was ruled to have drop-kicked the ball close to the line as he attempted to grubber it before he regathered it and scored.

The rule from the bunker caused confusion throughout the NRL after Slater himself admitted he dropped the ball and didn't believe it was a try.

However under rugby league's official laws, a player is able to drop kick the ball if they intentionally release it from the hands to kick, and then make contact immediately after it bounces off the ground.

But NSW State of Origin coach Fittler said the rule needed to be changed to better represent the views of fans, current and ex-players such as himself and Friday night's coaches, Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett.

"There is 400 years' worth of experience and every single one of us said 'no try'," Fittler told Nine Network's Sunday Footy Show.

"The rule either has to be changed or they got it wrong, one way or another.

"You can't go through that many years of playing football at all different levels and every one of us get it wrong."

Former champion playmaker Sterling also said the ruling was wrong.

"By the book ... How does the referee know intentional?" Sterling said. "Now you don't intentionally knock on. I just think Billy said during the course of the game he's played 15 years and 300 first grade games, he dropped the ball."

The comments come after referees boss Bernard Sutton said on Saturday his bunker had made the right decision based on the rules of the game.



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