Placing hands on the referee might be part and parcel of soccer histrionics, but it’s a big no-no in the oval football codes – and giant Waikato prop Ben Tamiefuna took it to the next level in his side’s recent ITM Cup victory over North Harbour.
The Mooloos were defending their try-line in the 72nd minute when the 137kg front-rower pushed whistle-blower Glen Jackson out his way. The prop monster’s shove sent Jackson – a former Bay of Plenty and Waikato first five-eighth – sprawling to the QBE Stadium turf.
Jackson sin-binned Tamiefuna soon after, but ironically it was for playing the ball on the ground, and not for manhandling the ref.
But he wasn’t off the hook for the incident, with New Zealand Rugby citing Tamiefuna for acting against the spirit of good sportsmanship; he is facing up to four weeks on the sidelines – a bit harsh in our opinion, given there was no malice.
Follow Commentary Box Sports on Social Media!