Call to root out cause of Flower’s final punch

Eamonn McManus
Eamonn McManus

Eamonn McManus has urged Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan to “look beyond mere effect and more at cause” when he decides what action to take against Ben Flower.

The prop was banned from rugby until April 15 next year after his sickening attack on Lance Hohaia during Saturday’s Grand Final.

Wigan have faced criticism over recent seasons, not least from Saints’ departing coach Nathan Brown, for their ultra-aggressive brand of rugby.

A recent TV documentary chronicling Wigan’s failed World Club Challenge bid captured coach Shaun Wane telling his players during a pre-match pep talk: “Knock people out. I can’t give you any more of a free rein than that. Create ******* mayhem. Be reckless. Because that’s what’s going to get us a ******* win next week.”

Responding to Flower’s lengthy ban, Saints chairman McManus said: “Ian Lenagan is a strong chairman of a great club and I know that he will look beyond mere effect and more at cause.

“If anything is identified and needs to be dealt with then he will. St Helens stand firmly at the side of Wigan at this time.”

McManus also insisted police action was inappropriate but said Flower should offered support during his ban.

He said: “Whilst serving his ban it is critical that Ben is now provided all due personal and professional support. His rehabilitation is now paramount.

“During the period of his ban he will be no more than a 25-year-old boy who will be extremely vulnerable emotionally. We must assist him in any way that we can.”