Gareth Hock could miss the rest of the season after he is banned for seven-matches for deliberately making contact with a referee - the third time he has done so in his career
Hock is unlikely to play again this season unless Salford City Reds reach the play-offs
Wednesday 16 July 2014
Salford have accepted that former England forward Gareth Hock will play no further part in their push for the First Utility Super League play-offs.
The 30-year-old former Wigan second rower was handed a seven-match ban after being found guilty of deliberately making contact with a referee.
It was the third time in his colourful career that Hock has been punished for the offence and it virtually ends his season.
The Red Devils have just seven matches left of the regular season, although Hock could still feature if they reach the play-offs.
Back-to-back wins over Huddersfield and Hull have rekindled the hopes of Iestyn Harris' men, who are currently four points behind eighth-placed Widnes.
Hock's latest brush with the authorities stemmed from a collision with referee Matt Thomason as he chased a kick towards the Hull line at the AJ Bell Stadium last Saturday.
Thomason was bundled over by Hock, who insisted the clash was not deliberate, but an independent disciplinary panel ruled otherwise and fined him £300 in addition to imposing the hefty suspension.
Hock was never likely to be shown much leniency after having already been punished twice before for similar offences.
In July 2008 he was given a five-match ban after being found guilty of pushing referee Ian Smith while playing for Wigan against Huddersfield and in May 2013, during a loan spell with Widnes, he was banned for four games for making deliberate contact with referee George Stokes
Salford have accepted the ban, with owner Marwan Koukash announcing on his Twitter account that there would be no appeal.
"Not going to waste time and money on appealing," he said. "Hope our players make sure that Hock plays again this season. Let's move on."
The controversial Koukash could not, however, resist a dig at the Rugby Football League, with whom he has been having a running battle all season.
"Was I surprised?, not at all," he said. "It took the RFL less than 3 minutes to announce it . Very efficient for once."
Catalan Dragons were dealt a double blow when French internationals Vincent Duport and Gregory Mounis were suspended for offences committed during their 37-16 home defeat by Wigan.
Duport was given a three-match ban after admitting making dangerous contact with England winger Josh Charnley and Mounis was suspended for two matches after pleading guilty to a dangerous throw on Wigan second rower John Bateman.
London Broncos forward Atelea Vea will not get the chance to impress his new employers after being suspended for the visit of St Helens on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Tongan international, who is joining Saints on a two-year contract at the end of the season, pleaded guilty to striking during the Broncos' 72-12 defeat at Warrington on Sunday and accepted a one-match ban.
Widnes prop Phil Joseph will miss Friday's derby against Warrington after being given a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle.
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