RICHARD Lepori has been banned for one game and fined £100 after pleading guilty to a grade ‘A’ punching charge arising from an incident in Oldham’s Summer Bash clash with Rochdale Hornets.
The Roughyeds’ in-form full-back will miss Sunday’s game against KP Championship leaders Hull KR at Bower Fold (3pm).
He was represented at last night’s hearing by his club chairman Chris Hamilton.
Hornets’ prop Jo Taira was penalised and sin-binned for a high tackle on Lepori, but that was considered sufficient punishment by the sport’s match review panel.
“I find it amazing that the Rochdale player involved in the incident didn’t even get called up,” said Oldham coach Scott Naylor.
Prop Jack Spencer submitted an early guilty plea to a grade ‘A’ charge of making ‘deliberate or reckless’ contact with a match official in the same game.
There was no ban, but if he is charged with any other offence in the next 12 months he no longer has the option of using an early guilty plea.
Sammy Gee was sent off for punching near the end of a feisty Summer Bash derby, but his case wasn’t heard last night because the RFL is still investigating.
“We think it may be heard next Tuesday, but we don’t know that for certain,” said Hamilton.
Danny Grimshaw, who was taken off with a groin injury in the match against Swinton Lions last Sunday, was still having problems at training last night.
“We’ll know more on Thursday,” said Naylor, who felt everyone else would be available for the Hull KR game despite several niggles and bruises at this stage.
Kieran Gill, meanwhile, has spoken of his “devastation” at suffering a season-ending knee injury on his try-scoring Super League debut for Castleford Tigers.
Next week he was due to return on loan to Oldham, for whom he has already scored five tries in nine games this season.
Said Gill: “I was very nervous before the game, but once it started I thought it was awesome. I was injured early on, but I kept telling the physio I didn’t want to go off and then I got the chance to score my first Super League try.
“I had to go off early in the second half and on Monday a scan revealed the full extent of my knee injury. I was devastated.
“The Oldham boys seem to be going through a rough patch, but that’s always likely to happen to any team at any time.
“As soon as I can, I’ll be over to give them a cheer.”
+ Oldham players, past players and fans are invited to attend a Rugby League Cares function at Gallery Oldham on Friday, from 2pm.
Mick Martin is writing a play about rugby league and the community, to be performed in Oldham and Rochdale later in the year.
Everyone is welcome to relate their personal experiences of rugby league, but those planning to go must first email Trizia Wells at: firstname.lastname@example.org