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07th Sep 2013

Video: Women’s rugby team stop playing match in protest; opposition keep going and win 71-0

Play to the whistle ladies.

Conor Heneghan

Play to the whistle ladies.

Players in every sport have a gripe with the referee practically on a weekly basis, but while you can moan or make an official complaint, what you shouldn’t do is simply stop playing a match in protest.

Somebody should have told that to the Beijing women’s sevens team earlier this week after they simply gave up and stood still on the pitch following the awarding of a try they deemed to be unfair during the final of the Chinese National Games against Shandong.

With the opposition moping at the side of the pitch, underdogs Shandong, who had already scored two tries before their ‘disputed’ one and were well in control, simply kept going and ended up winning the game 71-0.

According to, as a result of their actions, all the Beijing players who protested on the pitch were handed three game bans, as were the two coaches of the team, while the substitutes, who really had little to do it, were banned for one game each.

Team leader Zheng Hongjun and head coach Jiang Xuming were held responsible for what was considered match-throwing and were ordered to step down by the Beijing delegation, who, along with the team themselves, issued a public apology on Tuesday.

At least one of the Shandong try scorers indulged in a little showboating while crossing the line, because if there was an ever an appropriate time to showboat surely that was it. Chris Ashton, take note.

Hat-tip: James Dart