Footage from new angle has everyone talking about Jacob Stockdale again 1 year ago

Footage from new angle has everyone talking about Jacob Stockdale again

You can see how rapidly this all unfolds.

44 minutes into Ulster's gripping Champions Cup quarter final with Leinster and Jacob Stockdale looked to have scored another sublime try.

The 22-year-old, who scored 20 tries for Ulster and Ireland last season, went from 0 to 60 in the beat of a heart and wriggled through a sliver of space - between two stout Leinster bodies - to give himself the chance of a score.

He then stepped Jordan Larmour, in the words of Andrew Trimble, like he wasn't there and kept his pace up to beat Dave Kearney, who had sprinted over from his wing, to the tryline.

You could see the varying reactions from those in the Aviva Stadium's 'East Stand' as Stockdale looked set to make it 18-11 to Ulster:

In fairness to Kearney, he never gave up. Even with Ulster fans guldering and acclaiming a fine, fine score, and several of Stockdale's teammates celebrating, Kearney kept niggling; not making it easy.

Stockdale did not dive over the line. Instead, he stooped to dot down with one hand. At the last moment, that decision cost him the try as the ball slipped from his one-handed grasp.

Referee Romain Poite ruled 'No try' with some help from the Television Match Official and Leinster were allowed slip off a sizeable hook. Leinster went on to win 21-18 but Ulster head coach Dan McFarland was not for pinning the loss on his star winger. He said:

"I was asked four times about Jacob dropping the ball over the line. My answer is: there are not many people in the world who could beat that many players, to even get in the position to put the ball down. I'm proud of Jacob, he played a great game, did a lot of really good things."

Given it was such a pivotal moment in the game, opinions have been divided on Stockdale. Former Leinster and Ulster coach Matt Williams felt the mistake cost Stockdale's side the game while Brian O'Driscoll said the error was "unforgivable". Trimble, on Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby, acknowledged that Stockdale should have dived but he agreed with McFarland on the player having an otherwise "brilliant" game.

As much as Stockdale would dearly wish to focus on Ulster's Guinness PRO14 run-in, the emergence of footage from a new angle has kept this moment on the tips of many lips. It comes courtesy of a ball-boy, who was in the corner where the match's big talking point occurred.

A link to the full video clip can be found here - and it really does show how quickly the tryscoring moment unfolded - but we thought we would take a moment to highlight some of the best moments.

Getting chilly in Dublin, so the chiseller warms up with a cup of tea and a bar of chocolate to keep himself going. Breakaway bar... good choice.

But there is no time to enjoyed the tea-soaked chocolate bar as Stockdale is out making magic happen on the dang pitch.

Quick as a flash, the camera whips up - away from the compelling tea action - to Stockdale blitzing through on his initial burst up the left wing.

From the two stills (below) we can see Jordan Larmour - the Leinster fullback - left clutching helplessly. Then, as Stockdale bears down on the tryline, Dave Kearney comes into shot.

Kearney is not giving this one up but Stockdale looks to have this in the bag and the Ulster contingent roar their approval.

All Stockdale has to do is ground the ball and Ulster will be seven points clear. John Cooney will have a conversion from the sideline to make it 20-11.

The winger then dips to score but, inches from the ground, the ball slips loose. The last moment captured on video is Stockdale sliding out of picture, Kearney on the deck and Ulster fullback Michael Lowry celebrating a score that was never awarded.

Gutting as it will be for Ulster fans to admit, the new angle does confirm that Stockdale lost control at the last moment. The video, from this new angle, certainly reopened the debate on social media but life, and rugby, moves on.

The dust is settling and, contrary to O'Driscoll's take, Stockdale has been forgiven by swathes of Ulster fans. At the province's Monday press briefing, winger Craig Gilroy said he would not be at all surprised if his teammate went out and scored at the weekend, in the PRO14.

He will learn from this but one hopes his attacking streaks is not curbed by the criticism, and bad memories.