Ben Flower: Wales coach John Kear expects lengthy ban

Flower sent off for punch as Saints win

Wales head coach John Kear expects Wigan prop Ben Flower to be banned for around 12 games after being sent-off in the Super League Grand Final.

Flower, 26, faces a minimum eight-game ban after being dismissed for twice punching St Helens' Lance Hohaia.

Ex-Wales captain Jonathan Davies had suggested that Flower should be banned for a full season.

"I believe it will be a fairly hefty suspension and a fairly hefty fine," Kear said,

"I think you're looking at a 12-plus game ban.

"It wasn't a savoury incident and didn't do the sport any favours whatsoever.

"I'm sure Ben is as disappointed as anybody and I know for a fact the Wigan club are disappointed.

"It has taken some off the gloss away from St Helens' victory and it was a mighty fine victory because they have had so many injuries over the course of the season."

'Hysteria' over Flower punch - Wigan chairman

Wales international Flower was sent-off after two minutes after punching Hohaia to the ground before then landing a second blow to the face of his defenceless opponent.

Both men have been charged by the Rugby Football League - Hohaia is accused of striking Flower with his forearm.

Police are looking into the incident, but have received no public complaints.

However, they will continue to liaise with relevant parties - including the Rugby Football League, the Criminal Prosecution Service and St Helens - before deciding on a course of action.

Saints went on to win the Super League title with a 14-6 win over 12-man Wigan.

An RFL spokesman said it would be up to 31-year-old Hohaia, who has said he holds no grudge against Flower, and St Helens to decide whether to pursue legal action.

As is normal, the case was considered by a match review panel on Monday and Flower was charged with a Grade F offence - the most serious in the sport's disciplinary rules - of "violent and aggressive punching" and "punching an off-guard opponent".

The offence carries a minimum eight-match ban, or a ban based on time, and Flower - who has since apologised - will appear before an independent disciplinary tribunal in Leeds on Tuesday evening.