Oct 11, 2014 at 6pm UK at ‚ÄčOld Trafford
St HelensSt Helens
Wigan Warriors
Soliola (54'), Makinson (68')
Burgess (40')

Paul Wellens "not surprised" by Ben Flower ban

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St Helens captain Paul Wellens is "not surprised" by the length of the ban given to Ben Flower, but is confident that the prop will be accepted back into the game.

St Helens captain Paul Wellens has said that he is "not surprised" by the length of the ban handed out to Wigan Warriors prop Ben Flower this afternoon.

Flower became the first man to be sent off in a Super League Grand Final when he knocked St Helens' Lance Hohaia out with a punch before striking him again while the half-back was motionless on the ground.

The 26-year-old Wales international has since been found guilty of a Grade F offence by the RFL and banned for six months, which equates to 13 matches overall.

"I'm not surprised. It was a pretty unsavoury incident," Wellens told BBC Radio 5 live.

"He's come out and said it himself that he's very disappointed with his actions. It's quite clear the RFL has sent a message - that type of behaviour won't be tolerated."

The ban is the second heaviest of the Super League era, although Wellens is confident that Flower will be "treated as normal" on his return to the game.

"Rugby league people in general are quite forgiving. There'll be a lot of scrutiny around him when he returns as a player," he added.

"But within rugby league there's been incidents in the past and people have come back. He'll be treated as normal.

"He'll go away and serve his punishment and then once he's done that I think he should be allowed back in and straight back into the Wigan squad as per normal."

The Saints went on to win the Grand Final 14-6 at Old Trafford.

Ben Flower of Wigan walks from the pitch after receiving a red card during the First Utility Super League Grand Final match between St Helens and Wigan Warriors at Old Trafford on October 11, 2014
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