Widnes accept Chris Houston ban for knocking referee Phil Bentham

Widnes have accepted the two-match ban imposed on co-captain Chris Houston for knocking over referee Phil Bentham.

Bentham was injured and taken from the field during last Friday’s Super League 18-10 defeat by Warrington after colliding with the Australian forward, who was put on report by replacement referee Scott Mikalauskas.

Houston, 33, was subsequently issued with a two-game penalty notice by the Rugby Football League’s match-review panel and his club have decided not to contest it.

Houston, who successfully fought a similar charge last April, will miss the Vikings’ next two games against Leeds and Wigan.

Super League referee Phil Bentham was unable to continue during Widnes v Warrington after this collision with Vikings skipper Chris Houston.

“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,” the Vikings said in a statement.

“As such, the club does not feel that it is in a position to contest this matter.

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“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.”