Bradford Bulls’ Dec Patton handed huge ban for gouging

Bradford Bulls halfback Dec Patton will miss the rest of this season and the beginning of the next after receiving a seven-match ban.

Patton faced a disciplinary tribunal on a Grade E gouging charge following his side’s defeat to Halifax Panthers at the Summer Bash.

The offence on Halifax’s Joe Martin went unpunished during the match, with only Martin dismissed.

Grade E charges typically bring a ban of between four and eight matches and the tribunal leaned towards the higher end of that scale for Patton.

He will miss Bradford’s last five matches of the regular Championship season and, with their play-off chances virtually impossible, the first two games of next year as well.

Meanwhile, Leigh Centurions’ Nene Macdonald and Featherstone Rovers’ Tyla Hepi have each been handed three-match bans following their clash at the Summer Bash.

Both have been suspended on Grade D punching charges, but will be available again for the final two rounds of the season as well as the play-offs.

In League One, Rochdale Hornets’ Zac Baker has been banned for five matches for a Grade D dangerous throw in his side’s recent match against Swinton Lions.

Baker will miss the last four rounds of the regular season plus Rochdale’s first tie in the play-offs.