Widnes half-back handed ban
Widnes are facing a half-back shortage after Danny Craven was handed a one-match ban by the RFL disciplinary panel.
Craven was sin-binned in the dying stages of the Vikings’ 14-12 defeat to Toulouse at the weekend for a late tackle on Robin Brochon.
Toulouse went on to score the decisive try of the match while Craven was on the sidelines, and he will now have to sit out their Challenge Cup game against Dewsbury on Sunday week.
It leaves John Kear without his two first choice half-backs, as scrum-half Tom Gilmore is already sidelined long-term with a pectoral injury.
Joe Lyons has been filling in during Gilmore’s absence, and it may be left to skipper Jack Owens to fill the void being left by Craven. Owens featured at stand-off in pre-season as Craven recovered from a hamstring injury.
But options at the back are limited for Widnes too, with Matt Fleming the obvious choice to stand in at one, though the recent departure of Will Evans and an injury to Max Roberts means Widnes are short of centre options.
Craven was charged with the Grade C offence of striking recklessly with the arm or shoulder.
He will be available to face Newcastle in the Championship this weekend.
Newcastle half-back Nikau Williams also received a one-match ban, for contact with a match official during their defeat to London.
Williams was put on report for the incident, which occurred in the first half at Kingston Park.
The Match Review Panel noted: “Deliberate or reckless physical contact with a match official (e.g. placing hand on arm to attract attention).”
Featherstone forward Craig Kopczak was banned for one-match for a high tackle, while Halifax’s Jacob Fairbank is banned for two matches for dangerous contact.
It means Fairbank will miss the Easter Monday clash with Bradford, live on ViaPlay, as well as their cup clash with Barrow.
As Featherstone are out of the Challenge Cup, Kopczak will miss the Good Friday visit to Batley.
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Full list of sanctions:
Oliver Agar – Castleford Tigers Reserves – Dangerous Contact – Grade C – 1 Match Penalty Notice
Brad Clavering – Midlands Hurricanes – Dangerous Contact – Grade A – Not applicable
Mathieu Cozza – Featherstone Rovers – Dangerous Contact – Grade A – Not applicable
Danny Craven – Widnes Vikings – Striking – Grade C – 1 Match Penalty Notice
Bailey Dawson – Castleford Tigers – Reserves – Dangerous Contact – Grade B – £25 Fine
Jacob Fairbank – Halifax Panthers – Dangerous Contact – Grade C – 2 Match Penalty Notice
Artur Hingano – York Knights – High Tackle – Grade A – Not applicable
Toby Hughes – Salford Red Devils Reserves – Punching – Grade D – 2 Match Penalty Notice and £25 Fine
Craig Kopczak – Featherstone Rovers – High Tackle – Grade C – 1 Match Penalty Notice
Ethan Natoli – London Broncos – Other Contrary Behaviour – Grade B – £125 Fine
Joe Potter – Hull KR Reserves – Dangerous Contact – Grade B – £25 Fine
Brendan Santi – Keighley Cougars – Other Contrary Behaviour – Grade A – Not applicable
Nikau Williams – Newcastle Thunder – Contact with Match Official – Grade C – 1 Match Penalty Notice
Dane Windrow – Wakefield Trinity – Punching – Grade D – 2 Match Penalty Notice and £25 Fine
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