Houston accepts two-match ban following Bentham collision

Chris Houston will serve a two-match suspension after Widnes accepted the penalty notice issued to the forward after colliding with referee Phil Bentham.

The referee was unable to continue after an incident saw Houston knock the official to the ground when chasing a kick.

The former Newcastle Knights forward was issued a Grade C charge for contact with an official, and the club has accepted the penalty.

In a statement, Widnes said: “Whilst we believe that this incident was entirely accidental, and that there was no malice or intent behind the collision, we also recognise that there is a duty of care towards referees. As such, the club does not feel that it is in a position to contest this matter.

“We are satisfied that Chris’ positive conduct on the field, with no disciplinary action in the past 24 months, has been recognised with a penalty at the lower end of the range.

“Following the incident, Chris sought out Phil to express his sincere apologies for the accident. We are looking forward to him returning to the team soon.”