WATCH: 'It's a joke' - Controversial penalty try and new tackle laws deny Ulster victory over Scarlets
World Rugby’s new tackle laws caused huge controversy at the Parc Y Scarlets last night as Ulster lost 16-13 to the Scarlets after conceding a highly dubious penalty try.
Ulster led 13-6 at the break thanks to an incisive try from young Jacob Stockdale but failed to score in an incident-packed second half.
Under the new rules, players making contact with an opponent’s head in “reckless tackles” now receive at least a yellow card.
In the 61st minute of the game, Ulster's Sean Reidy was binned for a high tackle as he stopped Scarlets scrumhalf Aled Davies from crossing the tryline.
Davies was stopped short of the line but after referee Marius Mitrea consulted the TMO, he issued a yellow card to Reidy and awarded the Welsh side a penalty try.
Ulster director or rugby, Les Kiss, insisted last night they had “no grudge” or were “whinging” about Mitrea who was applying the new laws
“That is the new world we are living in. We are going to have to find a new way to live with it and adapt to it.
Scarlets second row Jake Ball was also yellow carded for a high tackle two minutes later, prompting a period of pressure from Ulster but Scarlets stood firm and held out for the crucial win.
The result means that Ulster are now seven points behind fourth-placed Scarlets in the final Pro12 playoff spot.
Watch the penalty try incident and Ball's tackle below and make up your own mind:
Thoughts on this? The new law on high tackles means it's a penalty try for Scarlets!#ScrumV
https://t.co/izc1faP8qi pic.twitter.com/0BqwAjHaYw— BBC ScrumV (@BBCScrumV) January 6, 2017
The decisions resulted in a lot of reaction on social media:
I am neither a Scarlets or Ulster supporter, but I'm sorry, that was never a penalty try ..the game is going mad— Adam (@acwbath) January 7, 2017
Scarlets 16-13 Ulster... tough defeat to take. That crazy penalty try did for @UlsterRugby ...adding insult to all their injuries!— Steven Beacom (@StevenBeacom5) January 6, 2017
Rugby has gone soft with these latest laws. 2 yellow cards and a penalty try in 2 minutes of the Scarlet's v Ulster game, it's a joke!— Andrew (@AndrewParsons66) January 6, 2017
Two farcical yellow cards and a penalty try— Mike Pearce Rugby (@MPsportsdragon) January 6, 2017
Scarlets v Ulster we could all see this coming
Ulster's SEAN Reidy yellow card and penalty try even though scrumhalf ducks down. Letter of law correct. Spirit not so sure.— John O'Sullivan (@sullyirishtimes) January 6, 2017