Watch: Former NRL player wipes out referee with cheap shoulder charge, gets slammed with two-match suspension




Former NRL player Chris Houston has been suspended for two matches after he knocked over a referee during a Super League match on the weekend.

The former Newcastle Knights second-rower, who now co-captains the Widnes Vikings, was banned after injuring ref Phil Bentham during his side's 18-10 loss to Warrington on Saturday.

Houston was chasing a high kick when his shoulder collided squarely with Bentham's back, sending the referee flying and hitting his head on the ground hard.

The 33-year-old was put on report by replacement ref Scott Mikalauskas and was subsequently issued a two-game penalty for his actions - a punishment his club decided not to contest.

"Whilst we believe that this incident was entirely accidental and that there was no malice or intent behind the collision, we also recognise that there is a duty of care towards referees," the Vikings said in a statement yesterday.

"As such, the club does not feel that it is in a position to contest this matter.

"We are satisfied that Chris' positive conduct on the field, with no disciplinary action in the past 24 months, has been recognised with a penalty at the lower end of the range.

"Following the incident, Chris sought out Phil to express his sincere apologies for the accident.

"We are looking forward to him returning to the team soon."

Houston contested a similar charge last April and was successfully let off the hook.

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