Rugby Player Attacks Opponent in Super League Grand Final, Gets Record Six-Month Ban (Video)
Rugby is a pretty violent sport, but it’s usually not this violent.
On Saturday, at the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford in Manchester, Wigan Warriors prop Ben Fowler viciously attacked St. Helens Saints’ Lance Hohaia. He knocked the guy to the ground with one punch, then pounced on him and delivered another blow while he was down.
It was like he heard a voice in his head yelling “FINISH HIM!”
The Super League labeled the attack a “Grade F” offense—for “violent and aggressive punching” and “punching an off-guard opponent”—the most serious in the sport. Thus, they have handed Flower a record six-month ban that will cover the first 10 games next season.
The violent outburst appeared to come out of pure frustration. Flower missed an opportunity for an easy try (which is what they call a touchdown in rugby). Then Hohaia came crashing into him. So Flower used him as a punching bag.
Take a look:
Here’s what Wigan general manager Kris Radlinski had to say about the historic punishment handed out to Flower:
“Wigan Warriors would like to go on record in saying that the RFL disciplinary committee handled a very difficult situation with professionalism and integrity. We fully support their assessment of Saturday night’s incident involving our player, Ben Flower. We will be making no appeal. We would like to apologise to Lance Hohaia and his family and to the St Helens club and fans. St. Helens’ win on Saturday has been overshadowed by the incident and that is wrong.”
You know it’s bad when your own team is like, yeah, throw the book at this guy.
Oh and St. Helens, up a man for most of the match, wound up winning the championship 14-6.
Hat Tip – [BBC and reader DanD]