Sheffield Eagles prop Tony Tonks has been given a two game ban by the Rugby Football League following a disciplinary hearing in Leeds.
Tonks was found guilty of a Grade B offence for striking following an incident with Ian Hardman in the Eagles’ victory over Featherstone Rovers and has also been fined £50.
Tonks has played a major role in spearheading the Eagles ascension into third position in the Championship, but will now face a stint on the sidelines following the incident against his former employers.
Hardman was also found guilty of the lesser Grade A charge, again for striking, after filing an early guilty plea. “The man who started it all gets the Grade A charge,” Mark Aston claimed to The Star.
“Tonker says he had fingers in his eyes and you can see that on the video. Is it okay to poke people in the eyes? He reacts to that and why wouldn’t you? I would have done if I had hands around my face. The primary cause was the initial hands in the face, if he hadn’t have done that we would not be talking about this.”
The decision clearly riled Aston who blasted a lack of action over an incident in the same game that saw winger Scott Turner flattened by Rovers’ Jy Hitchcox. “The biggest disgrace is the incident on Scott; it should have been a penalty, and that’s what I was told, yet there is no case to answer,” Aston fumed.
“The lad gets knocked out, the player then stands over him and abuses him which could have blown up into anything. These are the questions that I want answering. Will I get one? I doubt it. This game is all about player welfare, and I keep getting told we need to look after players, well it needs to happen on the field because Scott could have ended up with a broken jaw or much worse.”
The Eagles are in Challenge Cup fifth round action this Sunday at Bramall Lane (3pm) against Hull FC, looking to bounce back from only their second defeat of the season against Leigh Centurions last weekend.