Four-match ban for Hock

Gareth Hock, pictured, was punished for coming into contact with referee George Stokes on Sunday

Gareth Hock, pictured, was punished for coming into contact with referee George Stokes on Sunday

First published in National Sport News © by

England forward Gareth Hock has been given a four-match ban for making deliberate physical contact with a referee.

Hock was punished for coming into contact with referee George Stokes during Widnes Vikings' 36-0 win over Workington in Sunday's Tetley's Challenge Cup fifth-round tie at Derwent Park.

The 29-year-old Hock, who was given a five-match ban in 2008 for manhandling referee Ian Smith while playing for Wigan, was charged with a grade D offence by the Rugby Football League's match-review panel and appeared in front of the disciplinary committee on Tuesday evening via Skype.

Hock, who also served a two-year ban for using cocaine in 2009, is on a season-long loan from Wigan ahead of a move to Parramatta from 2014.

The Vikings' next four games include a game against Wigan, in which Hock cannot play due to a clause in his loan deal, but his ban expires just before England's game against the Exiles at Warrington on Friday, June 14.

Hock, who was also fined £300, was running back into his team's defensive line when he caught the official. The committee heard the clash was "unnecessary and avoidable".

Hull KR's Australian forward Cory Paterson has also been banned for four games after being found guilty of a grade D reckless strike on Wigan stand-off Blake Green during his side's 46-14 cup defeat by the Warriors.

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