Wolfpack's Bussey barred 10 games for biting, high tackle
Toronto Wolfpack forward Jack Bussey has been suspended 10 games — eight for biting and two for a high tackle.
With just two games remaining in the Super 8s Qualifiers, the rugby league season is done for the 26-year-old who came under scrutiny for incidents in Toronto's 13-12 weekend win over visiting Toulouse.
Toulouse centre Bastien Ader got up from a 12th-minute tackle by Bussey complaining of a bite to the ear. He showed the damage to referee Tom Grant, who put the incident on report.
Midway through the second half, it was Bussey's turn to allege he had been bitten, a charge that did not lead to anything.
"There were some dirty tactics … and the referee didn't do anything about it," an angry Toulouse coach Syvain Houles said later.
Season disrupted by injury
Bussey, who was not made available to reporters after the game, pleaded guilty before an independent operational rules tribunal Tuesday.
The biting allegation drew an eight-match suspension and 250-pound ($425) fine. Bussey had accepted a one-game match penalty notice for a high tackle, which was increased to two games given the biting offence was committed prior to the high tackle.
A hard-nosed English forward, Bussey's playing time this season has been interrupted by injury.
The Wolfpack took action Monday.
"Toronto Wolfpack can confirm that following this weekend's game the club has stood Jack Bussey down from the team camp. He will be returning to the U.K. with immediate effect," the team said in a statement.
The club did not explain if the separation was permanent.
"If anyone's bit another player, then they'll face the consequences. That's the way it is." Wolfpack coach Paul Rowley said after the match.
"We did have a monitor but we couldn't quite see, so let the powers-that-be deal with those ones in the appropriate manner," he added. "Certainly we don't condone any of that from our part … so hopefully if that's happened, then the appropriate action will be taken — either way."
The Wolfpack have not been shy about severing ties with players who misbehave.
In January, the second-year rugby league team cut fan favourite Fuifui Moimoi, former Great Britain and England international Ryan Bailey and former Australian international Dave Taylor for a training camp transgression.
Toronto (3-2-0) hosts Widnes Vikings (1-4-0) on Saturday in its penultimate Super 8s Qualifiers match.