Scunthorpe rugby union player Adam Middleton banned for at least a month following outburst
VERSATILE Scunthorpe Rugby Union Club back Adam Middleton could be forced to sit out the next two months following a 'child-like' outburst last weekend.
The Greens' winger was sent off for dissent during his side's friendly win against Market Rasen at Heslam Park, having reacted with frustration to a decision that he, mistakenly, thought had been given against his side.
A committee meeting at Scunthorpe on Tuesday issued the 19-year-old with a four-week suspension, but the club must wait until the end of December to learn whether that punishment is deemed suitable by the Notts, Lincs and Derbyshire RFU.
The maximum ban for talking back to a match official is eight weeks – which would mean Middleton would not play again until mid-January.
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"He made a silly comment thinking the referee had given a penalty to Market Rasen when he'd actually given it to us," said coach Tim Robinson, of the incident in the build-up to the red.
"He pulled him over and gave him a yellow and unfortunately Adam was still chuntering, child-like, as he was walking off and so he got pulled back and given a red.
"It's highly frustrating. As a young player he's got to learn from that experience and realise he's let the club down.
"It was a friendly, and he could end up missing the next eight weeks, which is a crucial period for us.
"He's quite a gobby player on the pitch – and you want that from a number nine.
"But like I said in a meeting with him afterwards, 'you can only control what you can control and the referee isn't someone you can control'.
"You can't let frustration get to you and that's something he's got to learn."
Scunthorpe are confident of having Kiwi Rewiti Vaimoso back from a shoulder injury for Saturday's trip to Derby in National Three Midlands.
But Middleton's ban leaves the door open for Will Harrison to cement his place as the Greens' first-choice scrum half, the position Middleton had occupied for most of the season before having to move into the threequarters.
On Harrison's return to the starting XV, Robinson said: "He found it tough – being rotated. He didn't particularly like it but I think he's benefited from it.
"He's worked even harder in training and when he came back in, against Bournville, his defensive work was outstanding.
"He looked fresh and a lot sharper than he had before the rotation.
"I'm hoping he can take that into the Derby game."