NRL referees chief: Soliola should have been sent off


Sia Soliola should have been sent off for the reckless tackle that ended Billy Slater's involvement in Melbourne Storm's victory over Canberra Raiders on Saturday, according to NRL referees chief Tony Archer.

Soliola was placed on report after catching Slater high and late with a forearm 50 minutes into the contest, which finished 20-14 in the Storm's favour.

Slater will be assessed this week after being stretchered from the field, with coach Craig Bellamy saying: "He is talking but he isn't feeling too good."

Soliola was deemed by many to have got off lightly - a view shared by NRL officiating general manager Archer.

"It's important to note that Sia Soliola is on report and the matter will be addressed by the Match Review Committee," he said in a statement.

"But based on a review of the tackle, the incident did meet the indicators of a send off and the player should have been sent from the field.

"The match officials always have the option of a send off and I expect them to use it in instances of serious foul play."

Storm captain Cameron Smith will also undergo tests this week after sustaining a pectoral strain during the fixture.