Wigan failed with bid to downgrade Flower’s charge

Ben Flower was hit with a ban

Ben Flower was hit with a ban

Wigan tried to have Ben Flower’s charge downgraded before he was hit with a two-game ban.

A statement by the RFL said the Welsh prop pleaded “guilty to a reckless Grade C strike with the elbow”.

But a detailed summary on their website explains that the Wigan player was found guilty by the disciplinary, after a failed bid to reduce the severity of the offence.

Flower didn’t attend the RFL hearing, but was represented at the hearing by coach Shaun Wane and welfare officer Mick Farrell.

Wane confirmed tonight they did not plead guilty to a reckless Grade C strike.

They admitted he made contact with Wolves’ Declan Patton’s head, but argued it was ‘careless’ – rather than ‘reckless’.

He pointed to other, similar incidents which have escaped without grade C charges.

A grade A or B charge would have carried lower sentencing guidelines.

But in imposing a two game ban, the tribunal said they were “satisfied this was a reckless act and that the grading at grade C was correct... it is accepted this contact was not deliberate, but was reckless.”

He was also hit with a £300 fine.

Flower will serve the suspension when Wigan finish their regular season against Catalans at the DW Stadium on Friday and in the semi-finals a week later, but will be free to return for the title decider at Old Trafford on October 8 if the Warriors get there.

Flower’s red card, his first time since his dismissal in the 2014 Grand Final, came in the 57th minute before Wigan roared back to claim a 35-28 win.

Wigan are yet to discover if forward Willie Isa will be punished for the two-fingered salute he delivered to Warrington fans during last Friday’s game.

Isa subsequently issued an apology on his Twitter account, saying he acted in the “heat of the moment”, but a spokesman for the RFL confirmed it is looking into the incident. He is unlikely to be banned, but could be cautioned or fined.