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Melbourne's Slater still top with NRL kids

Melbourne Storm's Billy Slater might be public enemy No.1 in NSW but it hasn't stopped him being king of the kids.
Melbourne's Slater still top with NRL kids
by AAP

By Melissa Woods

MELBOURNE, July 1 AAP - Melbourne Storm's Billy Slater might be public enemy No.1 in NSW but it hasn't stopped him being king of the kids.

Around 450 kids turned out for Billy's Buddies school holiday clinic at the Storm's training ground, all wearing Slater's name emblazoned on their shirts.

But Queenslander Slater's popularity doesn't extend to NSW following the second State of Origin, when the Blues accused him of blatantly elbowing their halfback Mitchell Pearce in the face.

He was placed on report but not charged because the match review committee deemed the contact accidental.

Pearce reportedly said he intended payback in the deciding Origin in Sydney on July 17.

The Maroons fullback said he wouldn't get caught up in a verbal exchange.

"People can say what they want to say," he said.

"I'm not going to stand here and say I'm going to do this or that.

"It's a pretty important football game so I'm just going to concentrate on my role."

The Test custodian was more focused on trying to get the Storm back on track after two losses, including a shock 22-4 defeat to Wests Tigers last round.

They next host Brisbane on Friday night at AAMI Park.

"We were pretty disappointing on the weekend so we need to knuckle down against the Broncos."

Sorely missed against the Tigers, Storm skipper Cameron Smith is set to face Brisbane after plastic surgery on a cut near his eye suffered in Origin II.

Veteran prop Jason Ryles, however, is out for a likely three weeks with a knee injury.

Slater said Storm couldn't afford to deliver another showing like last round.

"Brisbane has got some good young players and some big forwards so we're going to have to be on our game."


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