FORMER NRL star Craig Field told the Lismore Supreme Court of throwing a punch that felled cattle farmer Kelvin Kane at the Kingscliff Beach Hotel in 2012 in self defence.
The 41-year-old former South Sydney Rabbitohs captain is accused of the king-hit murder of 51-year-old Mr Kane on July 15, 2012.
The trial continued yesterday on day 10 with the defence calling Field and Professor John Hilton to give evidence.
Under examination by his defence barrister Tony Bellanto QC, Field told the jury he and friend Shaun "Feathers" Fathers were enjoying an afternoon at the hotel after watching an Anthony Mundine fight until tensions escalated between Mr Fathers and Mr Kane's friend, Lyn Burger.
Field told the jury that following an argument between the pair, Mr Fathers was accused of grabbing Ms Burger around the throat, which Field said "did not happen."
"Shaun was getting heated and I more or less said to him just cool down," Field said.
When aggravation exploded between publican Geoff Wallis and Mark Frost over a comment Mr Frost made about Mr Wallis' stillborn baby, Field said he and Mr Fathers helped "move people on."
Field said he then went to the car park and chatted to Mark Frost, who was sitting in the front of his Holden Rodeo, when he heard yelling and swearing and a fight broke out.
When he moved away from the front window of the Rodeo, Field said he saw Mr Kane and Mr Fathers at the back of the vehicle grabbing each other by the arms and struggling.
"I saw Shaun throw punches at Mr Kane," he said.
"From what I saw Shaun was the aggressor.
"I saw Mr Kane throw a punch at Mr Fathers."
Field said he did not see Mr Fathers' punch connect with Mr Kane but he heard the "thud." Acting as the peacemaker, Field said he moved closer to stop any more punches being thrown.
"I saw his (Mr Kane's) hand cocked and I thought he was going to hit me so I threw a punch that hit him to his right head region," he said.
"As soon as my hand hit him he just fell straight down.
"I didn't want to hurt him and I wasn't at the pub to fight anyone."
Professor Hilton told the jury it was possible for someone suffering an injury like Mr Kane did to remain on their feet for up to a minute, able to throw a punch, before crumbling to the ground.
The Crown Prosecutor and defence barrister will give their closing submissions today.