Steve Tandy: Ospreys coach says World Rugby high tackle laws 'unreffable'

Sam Davies
Ospreys' Sam Davies leaves the field after his yellow card for a high tackle on Connacht's John Cooney

World Rugby's new laws on high tackles are making life difficult for referees, says Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy.

Ospreys fly-half Sam Davies was sin-binned for a high tackle during Saturday's Pro12 win over Connacht.

Tandy had no qualms with that decision, but he does have reservations about the effects the new directives are having on referees.

"Player safety is paramount but we're at the stage now of making it unreffable for some referees," he said.

"I genuinely have not seen the Sam Davies incident but I think John [Lacey, the referee] is mature enough to make good decisions. He's got a really good appreciation for it [the game].

"There's a danger that we are flustering young referees about directives."

Scarlets beat Ulster in controversial fashion on Friday, as the Welsh side were awarded a penalty try which put the spotlight on World Rugby's new directive on high tackles.

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Players making contact with an opponent's head in "reckless tackles" now receive at least a yellow card - and so it proved for Ulster's Sean Reidy as he tackled Scarlets scrum-half Aled Davies on the try line.

After consulting with television match official Carlo Damasco, referee Marius Mitrea sent Reidy to the sin-bin and awarded Scarlets a penalty try.

Tandy said of that incident: "Marius you look at last night, a guy [Reidy] has gone low, made a good shot on the shoulder. How are you going to defend?

"That's something we've got to look at. Referees have got a tough enough job as it is.

"With someone like John [Lacey], who's comfortable in his own skin and been around long enough, you've got every confidence even with the directive referees will referee it appropriately."

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