Widnes co-captain Chris Houston is facing a two-game suspension following a collision that left referee Phil Bentham injured in Friday’s Betfred Super League defeat by Warrington.
Bentham was unable to continue after he was knocked to the ground by Houston as the forward chased a kick, with reserve referee Scott Mikalauskas placing the incident on report.
The experienced Australian back-rower has been given a two-match penalty notice by the Rugby Football League’s match review panel for grade C reckless physical contact with a match official.
Houston faced a similar charge last April after colliding with the same referee in the corresponding fixture.
On that occasion, he was charged with a grade D offence, but found not guilty.
Houston has until 11am on Tuesday to challenge the penalty, which was at the lower end of the range due to his clean disciplinary record in the last two years.
You can watch a video of the incident below, and make up for yourself whether you believe the player should be suspended or not.
Like the commentator of the game says, it's very clear to see that Houston only has eyes on the ball, meaning he has no awareness of the referee in his path.
The collision is merely an accident, so it would be a shame to see the Widnes co-captain pick up a suspension because of it.
In the end it was Warrington who won the game, pipping Widnes 18-10, but it was this incident with the referee that was the major talking point.
What do YOU make of the incident? Should Houston be banned for two games? Or was it merely an unfortunate accident? Have YOUR say below!
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