NEW Huddersfield Giants signing Tony Tonks is set to miss the start of next season.
The 26-year-old prop has picked up a two-match ban for his part in a brawl during former club Featherstone Rovers’ 40-4 Co-operative Championship Grand Final victory over Sheffield Eagles at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium at the weekend.
It was his final Featherstone game before taking up a one-year Super League deal at the Galpharm Stadium.
The former Bradford Bulls and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats Academy man was one of NINE players banned after they appeared before the Rugby Football League Disciplinary Committee.
Tonks was one of three Rovers players handed a suspension, while five from Sheffield were banned in the wake of the 54th-minute free-for-all.
Featherstone’s Kirk Netherton and Greg Worthington, along with Sheffield’s Joe Hirst, Tim Bergin and Dane McDonald, have been banned for one match and fined £50 after all five players were found guilty of committing Grade B one-on-one striking offences during the incident.
Sheffield’s Quentin Laula-Togagae and Misi Taulapapa were also banned for one match after they were both found guilty of Grade A punching offences. Both were also fined £50.
But Tonks was banned for two matches and fined £100 after he was found guilty of a Grade B sustained punching offence.
Sheffield prop Mitch Stringer has also been banned for two matches after he was found guilty of committing a Grade B offence for deliberately dropping with the knee on winger Tommy Saxton in the 47th minute of the contest. Stringer, who pleaded not guilty, was also fined £100 by the Disciplinary Committee.
And Featherstone’s Andy Kain also appeared before the committee charged with a Grade A offence for punching, but after taking the player’s guilty plea and previous good disciplinary record into account, a £50 fine was deemed sufficient.
Tonks, however, isn’t the only Giants’ Super League squad man expected to be absent for the start of the 2012 campaign.
Jamie Simpson, Elliot Hodgson and Matty Dawson have all been banned for three matches for their involvement in a mass brawl during the Giants’ 35-24 home triumph over Harlequins in their final Valvoline Cup clash a month ago.
There was a delay in the sentences being handed down as RFL disciplinary chiefs needed to study the incident on video.
As well as the Super League trio, there were also three-match bans for Giants teammates Dave Orwell and Perry Whiteley.
At the same time, Quins’ Jack Dillon and Louis Robinson have been banned for five games each, with Alex Ingarfield suspended for three.