Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will spearhead the Roosters' forward pack against the Panthers on Saturday evening after beating a grade-one dangerous contact charge at the judiciary.
The prop was facing a one-match ban for a tackle on Parramatta's Nathan Brown but successfully pleaded his case on Tuesday night as the panel of Bob Lindner, Sean Garlick and Tony Puletua freed him for the important round 21 clash.
While the incident went unpunished at the time, the match review committee stung Waerea-Hargreaves for chopping Brown's legs as he struggled with fellow defenders Victor Radley and Sam Walker.
Waerea-Hargreaves's lawyer James McLeod described the tackle as "unremarkable" and "legitimate", declaring it was "definitely not a cannonball".
"You don't get a spearing down into the knee area – you get player Waerea-Haregreaves slipping down to make a legs tackle," McLeod said.
"The ball-carrier was still progressing up the field … This tackle was not completed."
He rejected NRL prosecutor Peter McGrath's claim that Brown was "pretty much marking time, marching on the spot" as his momentum halted.
"This is not an exact of a tackle being complete … and a third-man in coming in unnecessarily," McLeod said.
"So, what does the evidence actually reveal? … It makes good the propositions that this is not dangerous contact and it's not careless."
McGrath had submitted that Waerea-Hargreaves used "a spearing down motion towards the knee" at moderate force.
But McLeod argued his client initially made contact with Brown's hip or high.
"[Even if he had] good intentions to clean up the tackle and lock the legs together in an acceptable way and bring player Brown to the ground, the manner in which he effected that was careless," McGrath said.
With the Roosters' depth already seriously tested by injuries, losing their spiritual leader would have been far from ideal.
Trent Robinson's team will go into the weekend in fifth position – level with the fourth-placed Eels on points – and looking to move up the ladder.
Waerea-Hargreaves, 32, has been integral to his side's four-match winning streak and has carried the ball for more than 100 metres in 17 of his 19 games this year.