Ben Flower’s Grand Final punch on Lance Hohaia included in Wigan Warriors’ 150-year mishmash celebration

Back in 2014, Wigan Warriors and St Helens were gearing up for what was set to be a sensational Grand Final.

However, the showpiece event will be remembered for Wigan prop Ben Flower’s moment of madness.

His initial punch on St Helens’ Lance Hohaia was a sending off in itself, but Flower’s strike on the Kiwi whilst the latter laid on the floor shocked the rugby league world to its core.

Flower was sent off for the offence in a game which the Warriors went on to lose 14-6 and he was charged for a Grade F offence. That offence carries a minimum of an eight-game ban but, the Welsh international was subsequently suspended for six months, making Super League history for the longest ban ever.

However, the Warriors released artwork over the weekend commemorating iconic moments in Wigan’s history with some pieces including the first cross-code game with Bath Rugby Union as well as the Cherry and Whites’ win over Manly Sea Eagles.

In and amongst those moments, however, was Flower’s controversial punch which provoked strong opinions on social media.

For Hohaia, although the diminutive New Zealander tried to continue playing in 2015, the effects of concussion forced him into early retirement.

In total, the former Saints star played 81 times for the Lancashire club, scoring 22 tries and kicking one drop-goal after ten seasons at the New Zealand Warriors.

In 2008, Hohaia was a member of the New Zealand side that won the Rugby League World Cup, with 28 caps for the Kiwis under his belt at the time of retirement.

He also played twice for the Exiles in a new competition based on the best overseas stars in Super League taking on England.

Now, Hohaia,, has taken on a new coaching role with the Aquinas College in Michigan after making the move from Down Under to the United States.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments