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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Barrow Raiders duo face bans over Lezignan brawl: with video

WINGER Lee Haney and player/coach Darren Holt face RFL bans after the 26-man brawl that erupted in Barrow Raiders’ Challenge Cup win over Lezignan.

  • See the Barrow Raiders v FC Lezignan Brawl as it happened Click Here

The pair – along with four players from the French champions – have been charged with punching offences after a high tackle on Andy Ballard sparked a melee in the 61st minute of Barrow’s 32-22 win.

Haney, who was seen rushing into the confrontation and playing a leading role in affairs, faces a two or three-game ban for a Grade C offence of repeated punching, with Holt copping a one or two-match suspension for a Grade B punching offence.

Franck Rovira – who was sin-binned by referee Greg Dolan, along with Raiders prop Andy Bracek – Nicolas Piquemal and Florian Quintilla all face sustained punching charges for Lezignan, with Vincent Michau cited for punching.

Barrow boss Holt was disappointed by the charges and said: “It was a bit of a ding-dong, but without sounding like a whinging and moaning coach, I’ve looked at the DVD over and over again and there is absolutely no intent from any of our players.

“Well, maybe with the exception of Lee Haney, who runs across from the other wing. Everybody else really did just walk in and try and split it up. “It was the French team who not only instigated it, but they flared it again and carried on.

“The Barrow players, what are they going to do? Stand there with their arms by their sides?

“But the laws of the game are there, the RFL have looked at these videos and they are obviously having some kind of clampdown on these things.

“It’s not just because it is myself involved, but I think it is very, very harsh.”

Holt has indicated both he and Haney will submit early guilty pleas to the RFL disciplinary committee, which would mean the coach should receive a one-game ban and Haney a two-match one, rather than two and three respectively.

The club took the same approach when James Finch and Andries Venter were punished for a spear tackle in the Northern Rail Cup win over Whitehaven at the start of this month.

He said: “There is no point in questioning, going back and arguing your case. They have had a look at the video and they have decided anyway and I don’t see there being anything that I can go down and say that will make any difference.

“The system they have brought in – and they have been very clever in doing it – means very few people are going to take the risk of going down and arguing their case, even if they have a case.

“They are just going to zip their mouth up and take it on the chin.”

Holt added: “I’m not saying I didn’t throw punches, what I’m saying is, from what I have seen of the video footage as well, I went in to split it up and three or four French players then started throwing punches and it becomes a case of self-preservation.

“Are you going to stand there and just let someone else t-off on you? I just don’t think so.

“Lee came running across the pitch and jumped in, which is probably why he got the higher grade punishment.

“Myself, I am not making any excuses, but if I was put in the same position again, I would do exactly the same thing again, because I didn’t have much control over it.”

As well as the six players facing suspensions – though the bans on the French team do not apply in their domestic competition – Barrow centre Finch and Lezignan’s Mathieu Alberole were issued cautions for punching during the brawl.

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