- Ma Chong barges Ben Rimene to the turf in last act of Asian Sevens Series China leg final as Hong Kong beat hosts 14-7
- Tempers boil over with fans upset by the unsportsmanlike behaviour of Chinese players
Netizens slammed Chinese rugby players for bad sportsmanship after watching footage of the mainland team's loss to Hong Kong in the Asian Rugby Seven Series China leg final in Huizhou over the weekend.
Hong Kong were leading 14-7 in the final at the Huizhou Olympic Stadium near Shenzhen when visiting player Ben Rimene kicked the ball out of play to signal the end of the match. As soon as the referee blew for full time, Rimene was hit hard by Chinese player Ma Chong.
A minor scuffle ensued between players of both teams before the referee and other match officials intervened.
China were surprise finalists after causing an upset in the semi-finals by beating favourites Japan.
Ma's charge also caught the online match commentator by surprise. He said his behaviour may have been out of "frustration or irritation" because the home side were unable to prevent defeat.
"We don't need to see that after this fantastic final," said the commentator.
But in a local online forum where footage of the ugly scenes was posted, fans responded angrily accusing the Chinese players of lacking sportsmanship.
"The Chinese should rank first in the universe as they always attack others when losing the match," one fan said. Another one responded: "It's typical China and if Chinese players have sportsmanship, it would be big news."
"He just looks like a cow and should go back to his home village to plough the field. A group of barbarians!" one fan commented.
The forum, LIHKG, is generally pro-Hong Kong, particularly in political matters.
One fan suggested the Hong Kong team should respond the same way as Chinese swimming star Sun Yang, who hit out at a podium finisher who refused to shake his hand or stand next to him during the medal ceremony at the recent World Championships in Gwanju.
"I am winner, you are loser," Sun had said, while another forum user added: "A load of rubbish without any good conduct".
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