Kiss frustrated after narrow defeat

Date published: January 7 2017

Ulster boss Les Kiss has lamented a rule change which contributed to his side's 16-13 defeat to Scarlets on Friday.

A Jacob Stockdale try and two penalties and a conversion sent Ulster into the break leading 13-6, but a controversial penalty try helped Scarlets to take a narrow win.

World Rugby’s new high-tackle directives, which came into play on January 3, caused Scarlets to be awarded a penalty try in the second half which also saw Ulster’s Sean Reidy sent to the sin bin by referee Marius Mitrea for a high tackle on replacement scrum-half Aled Davies after 61 minutes. 

While Kiss was disappointed in the circumstances of the loss, he admitted there was little they could do about it.

"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," Kiss said after the game.

"It is right to have an intention to ensure safety is paramount for the players, working our way through the right interpretation and implentation of it is something we have to get too.

"I thought we probably would have better return from it if things had gone our way. We controlled that first half, I thought we were superb with retention of ball, but we were not as clincal as we needed to be at the start of the second half and gave them a bit of life and traction into the game. The decisions we could not control, that is what it is. We could have controlled some of our own decisions better, but I cannot hide the disappointment of the loss that is for sure and something we just got to cop."

While the defeat is a setback, Kiss insists their season is not over.

"We are not in the ideal position, but we are still contenders," he said. "The players certainly believe it in the sheds and we have to make sure we dust off and get up for two big European games against two big teams and then get back on the horse for the PRO12.

"It will be an improtant Six Nations period for us, we will have injured players hopefully coming back by then which will be a big plus for us and just give our squad a bit of depth. Hopefully we will have enough players available from the call to the international team, and the ones who do not if we can have them on a weekly basis because it is a big six or eight weeks for us."