NRL match review chief Greg McCallum has defended the decision to allow Parramatta's Jarryd Hayne to escape with the lowest possible charge over his kneeing of Bryson Goodwin - freeing the way for a mouthwatering fullback battle between the game's best player and Melbourne superstar Billy Slater in Sunday's grand final. While the news - announced after a specially convened meeting of the match review committee yesterday - was welcomed by relieved Eels teammates and fans, McCallum admitted he was prepared for accusations of preferential treatment for one of the game's biggest drawcards and double-standards after Storm captain Cameron Smith was rubbed out of last year's grand final for a grapple tackle. Parramatta hooker Matthew Keating will also be free to play in the premiership decider after being hit with a grade one contrary conduct charge for his chicken wing tackle on Bulldogs prop Ben Hannant in last Friday night's 22-12 preliminary final win, leaving injured captain Nathan Cayless (hamstring) as coach Daniel Anderson's only concern. With scans showing Cayless had suffered only a strain and not a tear, the Eels camp are hopeful he will be fit, but prop Broderick Wright was yesterday placed on standby and did not play in Wentworthville's NSW Cup preliminary final against Bankstown City Bulls at Leichhardt Oval. ''It's all looking good for us now,'' star utility Feliti Mateo said. ''I was a bit nervous for those guys but knowing they have got off is good, and the only one we're waiting on now is Nathan Cayless. But I'm sure we can get him out there with a wooden leg or something if we have to.'' Hayne avoided a judiciary hearing tomorrow night by only the barest of margins after 20 per cent loading from a dangerous throw guilty verdict that ruled him out of the opening match of last year's Origin series was added to the 100 demerit points for a grade one dangerous contact charge. With a 25 per cent discount for an early guilty plea, the penalty was reduced to 90 demerit points - enabling him to play. In an unusual move, the NRL released a table of all other dangerous contact charges from this season that showed only those players with either a higher grading or carryover points from a previous offence had been suspended. McCallum pointed out that Smith also would have been able to play in last year's grand final if he did not have a 50 per cent loading and carryover points from another grapple tackle charge earlier in the season but said he was anticipating criticism. "We are prepared for that and my response would be that Cameron Smith had 50 per cent loading for a similar charge for a grapple tackle and was charged with a grade one – so without the carryovers and loading, he too would have been available to play," McCallum said. "That's a mechanical part of the system. They both got charged with a grade one offence but Cameron Smith got two matches because of his previous offence." Of the other nine dangerous contact charges this season, five players were suspended – including Wests Tigers prop Bryce Gibbs, who got a three-match ban for kneeing Parramatta winger Luke Burt as he scored in round 24. Gibbs and South Sydney winger Nathan Merritt were the only players charged with grade two dangerous contact. "'We felt this was a completely different set of circumstances," McCallum said. "In the case of Bryce Gibbs, Luke Burt carried the ball into the in-goal and was hit from behind. In Jarryd Hayne's case, the ball was free and loose immediately prior to to him diving on it. "We also found that it wasn't his knee that made contact, it was the side of his leg, and he actually appears to turn his knee away to avoid contact, whereas Nathan Merritt led with his feet and made contact. But the action was still careless and that's why we charged him." McCallum also said there were mitigating circumstances in Keating's tackle, which left Hannant with a partially dislocated shoulder. "We believe the injury caused to Ben Hannant was because of combined weight of Nathan Hindmarsh, who was on Keating's back, and as they went to ground, Hindmarsh had hold of Hannant's hand." Eels five-eighth Daniel Mortimer welcomed the news that Hayne and Keating had been cleared. "It would have been disappointing to come this far and not be able to play in the grand final. Neither of them were intentional. It's a contact sport, and those things happen." Slater welcomed the opportunity to go head to head with Hayne in what could decide the Australian No.1 jersey for the Four Nations series. "He has been going great. He has certainly sparked rugby league and the finals series and even before that," Slater told AAP. "There is a lot of fullbacks in good form right now and Jarryd Hayne is probably at the top of the bunch."