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Don't get mad - get used to new rugby law, hero Maurice Field tells Ulster

By Michael Sadlier

Ulster must adapt to rugby's new zero tolerance high tackle laws and fast, top former player Maurice Field has warned.

Field, now a respected BBC TV pundit of the game, has called on Les Kiss' players to get their technique right or suffer the inevitable consequences from the radical law change which is designed to reduce concussions.

The call comes in the wake of Friday's 16-13 PRO12 defeat at the Scarlets that left Ulster frustrated and angry when Italian referee Marius Mitrea yellow-carded Sean Reidy and awarded a game-changing penalty try after the back-rower was adjudged to have gone in recklessly high to prevent Aled Davies crossing the line.

"The thing is that the law is zero tolerance so just don't do it," said ex-Ulster centre Field, who also played for Ireland 17 times in the Nineties while working as a professional firefighter.

"It is going to cause confusion as it's very hard for players to adapt to different playing styles and law interpretations.

"But the players should have been adapting their playing style," he added before also stating that introducing the new laws mid-season will naturally only increase the difficulty for players, coaches and officials.

Field, though, agrees that the new laws are right for the game's future. He said: "It's a positive thing because it's going to change the rugby league mentality of tackling standing up. That causes head collisions."

World Rugby introduced the laws on January 3 in a bid to deal with the really worrying rise of head injuries and concussions in the game.

The new laws stipulate that tackles to the head region are now no-go and that accidental hits will be sanctioned by a penalty while a tackle which is considered reckless will result in a yellow or red card.

Belfast Telegraph


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