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Monday Oct 13, 2014

Ben Flower red carded for vicious punching at start of Super League Grand Final

Ben Flower red carded for vicious punching at start of Super League Grand Final
27
Comments

Wigan Warriors prop Ben Flower was shown a straight red card for punching in the opening minutes of the Super League Grand Final. The Welshman hit Lance Hohaia on the floor despite the first punch appearing to have knocked the 31-year-old Kiwi out.

Flower has since apologised to everyone involved, including Hohaia and the sport of Rugby League.

“I am so sorry for what happened last night,” Flower said in his statement.

“There is no defence for my actions. It is something that happened in the heat of the moment. I instantly regretted it and am devastated that I allowed myself to punch someone like this.

“At Wigan we may aim to dominate teams, but we don’t aim to hurt people. I firstly offer my apologies to Lance. I hope he is OK. I’d also like to say sorry to my team-mates, our fans and the Wigan club. I accept I’ll have to live with this for the rest of my career.

“Finally, I’m sorry to the sport of rugby league. It was a big night and I know I’ve taken attention away from a special event.” 

Hohaia has said that he doesn’t hold a grudge, and doesn’t remember the incident.

“Sometimes these things happen in a game, in the heat of the moment people do things they regret,” Hohaia told the BBC. “I’ve done some silly things myself, so I don’t hold any regrets against Ben – he’s probably disappointed with himself.

“I don’t remember the incident – people have been telling me what happened. I don’t think the nose is broken, but I’ll have a scan on it in the week. I wanted to go back on but the doctor wouldn’t let me and obviously my health goes before anything else.”

St Helens won the Old Trafford clash 14-6.

View official highlights from the 2014 Super League Grand Final

This was covered via Leaguedump, where we bring you Rugby League coverage daily. Follow on Facebook for more on this story and everything else in the world of Rugby League.

27 Comments

  •  drg
    drg
    11:47 AM 17/10/2014

    Think this would get classed as more of an ABH offence that GBH.. but point still taken :)

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    11:45 AM 17/10/2014

    I disagree with you there Canadian content when you start to mention NFL... Take a look at one sport that your own country holds close to heart: NHL... ..anyway, back to the NFL thing.. it's not surprising that rarely punches are thrown... There aren't many people dumb enough to use a closed fist on a helmet designed to protect someones head...so what is left? Body shots? Again...armour.. so that leaves something like, lower body or throat... PLUS... the other issue I have with bringing NFL into this, is the style of play, stop, start, stop, start...I'm not suggesting one game is easier than another, but 99% of incidents somewhat similar to this (involving scuffles, punches etc) that occur on a rugby pitch could probably be avoided by having a players focus averted for a second or two.. when it comes to situations like this as far as you know/care, you're in a room and the only other person in it is your opponent, yeh there might be obstacles (other players), but your one focus is on the guy you're after... if someone manages to break that, then all of a sudden you realise you have a game to get on with and that your 'problem' is minuscule when compared to the outcome of the game... Of course that is based on amateur experience, I can only assume it still somewhat translates into the pro game...

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10
    11:51 PM 16/10/2014

    second punch was completely unnecessary I have alluded to it before, what if the red cards and brutalities we see on the field were translated to a courtroom? Rugby is close enough to 100% intentional GBH, how many of these so-called 'thugs' would still be walking around as free men?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    10:12 PM 16/10/2014

    Agree with you Eddie, but I reckon he was talking about the first hit... ..I'm not condoning on pitch violence, but the first punch was a cracking hit..

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    10:11 PM 16/10/2014

    ...how exactly does 'this' scenario make rugby look like soccer? ...unless of course you're saying Lance Hohaia never got hit and actually just dived?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    8:26 PM 16/10/2014

    Dan, if you want to start diving then join a swimming club and get lessons from them, don't take lessons from those nancies...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    8:26 PM 16/10/2014

    Dan, if you want to start diving then join a swimming club and get lessons from them, don't take lessons from those nancies...

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp
    8:13 PM 16/10/2014

    At least I can take a lecture on good behaviour from Gary Linekar and Michael Owen. They probably asked Roy Keane what he thought, but he just snarled at them and threw shit from inside his cage.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    11:54 PM 15/10/2014

    One thing that really irritated me about this, was the backlash it received from those round ball fairies... Garry Lineker and Michael Owen, both saying something about rugby players should behave like footballers on the field or some other blood boiling useless s**t...then what do I see on the news today? Serbia vs Albania football match is abandoned due to a brawl with players and then crowds and near riots or some silly business.. This incident was bad, but frankly its not tremendously common, so to have some weasely football pimples commenting on it, really irritates me!

    Reply
  • 8:51 PM 15/10/2014

    People that are banned should get immediatly drug tested I think. What harm can it do. Plus he is massive, and looks too pumped up. Like Dallaglio in theLions 97 video before the match, (and he was on speed and got banned for it in 97). The second punch is sickening. Not professionnal. And the other guy was a dick that got punched for it. Thug vs thug. Anyway...autumn internationnals soon :) come on Northern hemisphere!!

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g
    5:02 PM 15/10/2014

    I'll go out on a limb here and say smacking a guy in the face who is already out cold is anything but a beaut. As the guy just above said, most of this ban is for the second punch. No ifs or buts, it was completely out of order.

    Reply
  •  pire
    pire
    9:37 AM 15/10/2014

    For what it's worth...those were 2 very accurate punches. SBW should go take lessons from this guy

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    9:36 AM 15/10/2014

    Don't forget the training he'll receive on how to look very sorry and how to correctly hold his cap in his hand and he says "yes sir, sorry sir" in front of the judicial committee.. that's if he is smart enough to say "I'm guilty"...

    Reply
  •  dangerwombat
    dangerwombat
    10:29 PM 14/10/2014

    Second punch is horrible. Will be interesting to see how long the ban is. I think the only reason NFL players don't punch more is because everyone is wearing a helmet.

    Reply
  • 9:28 PM 14/10/2014

    No excuse for either punch, red mist or not he simply can't throw that first punch, it was reckless and dangerous. I can't even begin to describe the second punch. It reminded me of a UFC fight where that second punch is kosher, which I hate about a sport I otherwise like, mma. Gotta be a huge ban for this. Should be for the first punch alone. For those who disagree I'll ask u to watch an nfl game, which I have no great admiration for. Rarely, perhaps a few times a season, is a punch thrown and every play involves at least 4 collisions, if not more. If those behemoths can keep their cool ham surely rugby players can

    Reply
  •  flanker2712
    flanker2712
    6:34 PM 14/10/2014

    Six months. You have to think that five and a half of those are for the second punch.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g
    4:27 PM 14/10/2014

    Anyone who has played the game knows how spats between players can escalate. I think reasonable people can disagree exactly when this spat crossed the line, but the final punch, when Hohaia was prone, was so far over the line there really is no debate. At least there shouldn't be.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality
    3:06 PM 14/10/2014

    Until reading your comment I actually hadn't realised what had happened. The guy is obstructing Flowers a bit, but as you said, on 1.18 Flowers appears to clothesline him or strike him in some way to remove the obstacle. I thought he had just pushed him, which would have been fine, but on closer inspection that's not the case at all. So essentially what really started this was Flowers elbowing/striking the guy and what finished it was him cracking him one while he was defenceless on the ground. Any sympathy I had for him has vanished.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g
    1:39 PM 14/10/2014

    The second punch is sickening. The League authorities, who are generally pretty good on disiplinary matters, have to get this decision right; the punch unfortunately tarnished all of rugby (because loads of people still don't realise there are two codes), and if they must make an example of Flower, so be it. There was a helluva lot of gloating from the soccer fraternity, a "what if this had happened in our game" chat, the only way to answer it is to underline how completely unacceptable this was. A long ban is in order, and an even longer suspended ban for if he ever does something similar again.

    Reply
  •  ithilsul
    ithilsul
    9:24 AM 14/10/2014

    Yes, and we should also ban his family and take all of their belongings. Just to be sure.

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman
    8:23 AM 14/10/2014

    "Pushed over by a kick chaser"? You must be assuming I can't watch it over and over on full screen? Look again, at 1:18. He's no kick chaser being obstructed. He calmly runs past him and takes a big swing. That's what sets this whole thing off.

    Reply
  •  45678
    45678
    12:30 AM 14/10/2014

    viewed at full speed, There is hardly a gap between first punch and second, which given that the red mist is unlikely to settle so quickly, makes it more understandable, although clearly unacceptable. however, let's stop trying to defend the other guy just because he got sparked out. He clearly caused the escalation of violence however unacceptable and unpalatable the outcome was. Most rugby players would react if someone charged at you arms raised. The reaction from flower was excessive, but let's not try and pretend to be holier than thou.

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner
    4:27 PM 13/10/2014

    His statement has been written by a PR executive, classic damage limitation attempt .... And it has all the integrity of the same....... None!

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23
    4:07 PM 13/10/2014

    The first punch, you can maybe get away with saying "it was in the heat of the moment". Most Rugby players would give some sort of shot back after that. But to then full on punch the guy on the floor in the eye, too much. Should be banned for a long time, especially when you consider if that had been done off the field you'd be slapped with an assault charge.

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump
    2:36 PM 13/10/2014

    I think he covered it here: "I'd also like to say sorry to my team-mates, our fans and the Wigan club. I accept I'll have to live with this for the rest of my career."Moment of stupidity but letting his team (and fans) down like that will be tough to live with.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes
    1:16 PM 13/10/2014

    Crazy stuff. Kicking someone on the ground, furthermore already ko... Vomitive

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman
    11:27 AM 13/10/2014

    Disgusting. That should see him sit out for a season. And before anyone starts with the "Hohaia started it with an elbow to the throat", watch again. You'll see (at 0:13 and again at 1:18) how Flower first runs past Hohaia and clatters him to the ground. This roid-rage idiot should be hit with a ban and community service.

    Reply


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