Rugby

Hohaia banned for brawl

2014-10-14 14:29
Ben Flower (File)

London - St Helens stand-off Lance Hohaia has accepted a one-match suspension over his brutal Super League Grand Final clash with Wigan's Ben Flower, his club announced on Tuesday.

VIDEO: Ben Flower's double-punch KO's Lance Hohaia

Hohaia, 31, sparked a brawl with Flower in the second minute of Saturday's match at Old Trafford by striking the Wales international in the face with his forearm.

Flower retaliated by punching Hohaia to the ground and then striking him again in the face as he lay on his back. Flower faces a ban that could exceed eight matches and will learn his fate later on Tuesday.

"Lance Hohaia has accepted the EGP (early guilty plea) and will miss the first warm-up game of next season," a St Helens spokesperson said.

Flower will appear before a Rugby Football League (RFL) disciplinary tribunal in Leeds later on Tuesday, having been charged with a Grade F offence - the most serious charge the RFL can level against a player.

New Zealand international Hohaia was charged with a less serious Grade B offence. He submitted an early guilty plea in order to receive a one-game suspension and avoid a hearing.

Flower, 26, could also face criminal proceedings after St Helens chief executive Mike Rush revealed that he had spoken to police about the incident, which overshadowed his club's 14-6 victory.

"I can confirm I have spoken to the police, but we will allow the RFL to carry out their due process before making any further comment," Rush said.

Meanwhile, Flower has made himself unavailable to compete for Wales in the 2014 European Championship, which begins on Friday.

Wales's new head coach John Kear said: "Obviously Ben is going to get a hefty suspension because what he did was not acceptable, and he realises that.

"You've just got to let the judiciary deal with it and we'll just get on with Wales and the European Championship."

Flower apologised for his behaviour in a statement released on Sunday, saying he was "devastated" about what he had done.

Read more on:    rugby league
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