The term "Clown" can be deployed at several points along the derogatory scale in sporting terms.
It can be used to describe an administrator who has overseen an almighty cock-up to do with the running of the game; it can be applied to a coach for some befuddling selections or comments following a game; it can suit a player for an on-field howler committed in full view of the cameras. And it is in this last category we can place August’s Clown of the Month.
Step on up Waikato prop Ben Tameifuna. The big front-rower was busy positioning himself on his own try line to defend an attack when he found referee Glen Jackson in front of him.
Tameifuna wasted little time removing the official, sending the pink-clad whistle-blower toppling backward and onto his behind.
The tight head did get a yellow card shortly after the incident, but not for the push, rather a play of the ball on the ground.
The clash raised memories of Paolo di Canio’s shove on referee Paul Alcock.
And like Di Canio, Tameifuna is facing further sanction by his governing body after they reviewed the footage of his shove on Jackson, per the Sydney Morning Herald.
It was perhaps an unnecessarily hard shove from the prop, but does it really deserve the title of Clown of the Month?
Or does that moniker belong more to Jackson for his comedic tumble?
He is, after all, a recent professional player who has surely remained upright after bigger hits than that.