Leon Pryce, the Bradford and Great Britain winger, has been suspended for four games and fined £500 after being found guilty of striking Kevin Sinfield in the Challenge Cup defeat by Leeds on Saturday.
Pryce hit Sinfield from behind in an off-the-ball incident and, although the disciplinary committee took into account his previous good record, they said that it was a serious offence which had no part in the game.
The Bradford coach, Brian Noble, said: "What he did was just not acceptable at this club and I cannot defend his actions," he said. "We do not coach our players to do things like that and he has been left in no doubt that he was out of order."
Pryce will miss the first four games of Bradford's Super League season, starting at Wigan on 1 March.
Karl Harrison, the Bradford assistant coach, has been given a gentle ticking off over comments that were thought to add fuel to Leeds's fire in the Challenge Cup final between the two sides.
Harrison was quoted in the week leading up to the match as saying that the Bulls were aiming to win every game this season. "It would have been better not to say it,'' said Noble. "I've had a little word with him about it. What he said was perfectly reasonable, because everyone wants to win every game they play, but what he should have gone on to say, was that it was not a realistic expectation. And no doubt Leeds used it as ammunition.''
Harrison, a highly regarded member of the Bradford coaching team, admitted: "We have had a talk about it behind closed doors. It was probably dumb wording from me, but that's not the reason we lost the game.''
The Leeds tie against Hull KR in the fifth round will be carried on the Friday night, 22 March. Two televised matches will be Warrington v St Helens, on Saturday, and Widnes v Wakefield Trinity the following day. Wigan are to play their tie against UT Catalan in Perpignan on the Saturday hoping to maximise the gap between that game and a Super League meeting with Bradford the following Friday.
The Rugby League has invited two Russian teams, Moscow and the Kazan Arrows, to visit around the time of the Challenge Cup final. Moscow are to play Dewsbury and Sheffield, whilst Kazan are meeting Workington and Hull KR.Reuse content