Wigan Warriors prop Ben Flower says he has no idea why he threw a second punch at St Helens’ Lance Hohaia in the Super League Grand Final last October – nor any recollection of the moment.
The Welsh international received a six-month ban following his sending-off in the Trafford showpiece for the double-punch.
Wigan went on to lose the game after Flower – who became the first person in Grand Final history to receive a red card – shocked the world just two minutes into the hot-blooded clash when he knocked out Hohaia with two horrific punches.
“I think the frustration of knocking on, then getting hit from the side made me react in a way I’ve never reacted before,” he told Sky Sports News.
“The game was so intense, and I’ve naturally just thrown a punch. I’ve got no recollection of throwing the second.
“I don’t know why I threw it. I don’t know why I couldn’t hold myself back.
“I went in to the changing rooms, and wanted to be on my own so I went in to the shower rooms, away from the cameras, and sat there thinking to myself ‘What have I done?’ repeating in my head ‘What have I done?’”
Flower says he just wishes he could take back his moment of madness.
“I think about it every day and if I could take it back, I would, every day of the week,” he said.
“Letting people down was the hardest – the players, the club and my family. It’s been tough for me, but it’s been tougher for them.
“Knowing that I’ve lost them the Grand Final – it’s devastating. I know I didn’t just spoil the fans’ day, but their whole season.”
The 27-year-old made 20 appearances for Shaun Wane’s Warriors in 2014, establishing himself as a key member of the squad.
Flower is now determined to redeem himself in the eyes of not just the rugby league community but the sporting world and he also extended his thanks to Hohaia, who has claimed he bares no grudge.
“I can’t thank St Helens and Lance enough,” he added.
“I’d look forward to meeting him, and hope there will be a handshake and a chat. I know he didn’t take it to heart.”
Main image courtesy of Sky Sports via YouTube, with thanks.