October 13, 2014
Greater Manchester Police are looking into the punches thrown by Wigan prop Ben Flower during the Warriors’ Super League Grand Final defeat to St Helens on Saturday.
Flower was shown a red card two minutes into the game when he landed two punches on Lance Hohaia, first knocking his opponent to the floor then again when he was on the ground. He has since apologised for his actions but could now face further action.
While the police have said no public complaint has been made over the incident, they will continue to talk with the Rugby Football League (RFL), St Helens and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to determine the relevant course of action.
RFL chief executive Nigel Wood told BBC Sport: “The matter will be dealt with as with any other Super League fixture.”
Flower now faces a lengthy suspension after the RFL announced he had been charged with a Grade F offence of violent and aggressive punching/punching an off-guard opponent. Grade F is the worst category offence and carries an advised suspension of eight-plus matches.
He is set to face disciplinary tribunal on Tuesday. Hohaia has also been charged, with a lesser Grade B offence of striking with the forearm, which carries an advised punishment of one-two matches should he be found guilty.
An RFL spokesman said it would be up to Hohaia and St Helens to decide whether they would be pursuing legal action against the Wales prop, although Hohaia has since said he holds no grudges against Flower.
Following the match, Hohaia said: “In the heat of the moment, people do some things they regret. I’ve done some silly things on the field myself so I don’t hold any grudges against Ben. He’s probably disappointed in himself for not being able to play a part in the game as well.”
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