Ben Flower’s season could be ended by suspension after the Wigan prop’s dismissal in his side’s 35-28 Super League win at Warrington on Friday. The Wales international was sent off – for the first time since his dismissal in the opening stages of the 2014 Grand Final – for a late and high tackle on the Wolves half-back Declan Patton.
Although the Wigan coach, Shaun Wane, insisted the tackle was clumsy and his Warrington counterpart, Tony Smith, claimed the red card was harsh, the Rugby Football League’s match-review panel decided Flower’s actions were reckless because he used his forearm or elbow to strike Patton and charged him with a grade C offence, which normally carries a ban of two to three matches.
If the RFL’s independent disciplinary tribunal hands out the maximum penalty when it meets on Tuesday, Flower will miss his club’s final match of the regular season against Catalans Dragons on Friday and the semi-final and Grand Final if Wigan get to Old Trafford.
It will be Flower’s first appearance at the RFL headquarters at Red Hall, Leeds, since he was given a six-month ban for punching Lance Hohaia at Old Trafford nearly two years ago.
The Warrington full-back Stefan Ratchford, who was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul in the first half of the game, has been told he faces no further punishment.
The Widnes captain, Kevin Brown, and the St Helens second-rower Joe Greenwood have been charged with grade A offences of punching following their dismissals during Saints’ 21-8 win against the Vikings. The Widnes winger Patrick Ah Van, who was sent off along with Brown, has been told his red card was sufficient punishment.
The panel issued cautions to Wakefield’s Craig Hall for making contact with a match official, Featherstone’s Tim Spears for tripping and Leigh’s Lee Smith for sliding into a tackle feet first.