Toronto Wolfpack prop Jake Emmitt and wing Liam Kay will miss this weekend’s top-of-the-table showdown with the Barrow Raiders after being banned for fighting.
Emmitt got a two-game suspension while Kay was banned for one game.
Toronto and Barrow, both 7-0-0, face off Saturday at Lamport Stadium to decide who leads the third tier of English rugby league.
Four players from Toronto and one from Oxford RLFC were charged with offences ranging from punching to head-butting in last Saturday’s fight-filled Toronto home opener won 62-12 by the Wolfpack.
Emmitt was yellow-carded late in the game, taking his time to leave the field. He then threw several punches at an Oxford player who gave him an earful as he walked off and the fight was on. That earned him a red card.
Instead of pouting, the six-foot-one 234-pound forward endeared himself to the crowd after getting ejected by shaking hands with fans at the beer tents on the north side of the field.
Rugby league offences are divided into six grades, with A the lowest level and F the most serious.
Emmitt faced the stiffest charge among Toronto’s players — a Grade C punching offence that carries a ban of two to three games. By taking an early guilty plea, he got the lower end of the suspension range.
Oxford’s Callum Windley and Toronto’s Blake Wallace, who were sent off from the same melee, were each fined 75 pounds (C$130) after being found guilty at a disciplinary hearing for Grade B punching offences (which carry a ban of one to two games). They had pleaded not guilty.
Kay, who faced a hearing for his Grade B punching charge, was also fined 75 pounds after pleading guilty.
Wolfpack teammate Sean Penkywicz escaped a ban after submitting an early guilty plea to a charge of Grade A head-butting (light contact), which calls for a range of sanctions ranging from no further action to a maximum one-game ban.
Both Kay and Penkywicz were yellow-carded in separate incidents.
Toronto, rugby league’s first transatlantic team, is bidding to win promotion to the second-tier Championship and then to the elite Super League.