Six Na­tions in­tro­duces bonus points to re­ward at­tack­ing rugby

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

At­tack­ing rugby will be re­warded with bonus points in next year’s Six Na­tions, or­gan­is­ers said yes­ter­day, in­clud­ing match win­ners tak­ing four points in­stead of two.

The Six Na­tions is the last ma­jor rugby tour­na­ment to in­tro­duce bonus pointsSu­per Rugby had them from the in­cep­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion in 1996, the World Cup brought them in from 2003 and the south­ern hemisphere Rugby Cham­pi­onship and Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup also awards them. The move, which will be on a trial ba­sis and ap­ply also to the Women’s and Un­der-20s Six Na­tions tour­na­ments, will see the win­ners of each match re­ceive four points in­stead of two, but if they score four or more tries they will garner a bonus point as well. The new mea­sure for the Six Na­tions has been called for by many within the game in re­cent years.

John Fee­han, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Six Na­tions, said they had sought to strike the right bal­ance be­tween re­ward­ing at­tack­ing rugby and main­tain­ing the cli­max to the show­piece-in the 2015 edi­tion three coun­tries went into the fi­nal games with chances of win­ning the crown.

“The drama and ex­cite­ment of the last week­end of the Six Na­tions Cham­pi­onship is unique and is, more of­ten than not, driven by a num­ber of teams on equal cham­pi­onship points all com­pet­ing for first place on the ta­ble,” said Fee­han.

“It is im­por­tant for us to en­sure that any bonus-point sys­tem which is im­ple­mented would not, in any way, take away from this unique dy­namic.

“At the same time, we are also con­scious that we must re­ward try-scor­ing and an at­tack­ing style of play that will deliver more tries and greater rewards for fans and play­ers alike.”

Even los­ing sides can come away with some­thing if they meet cer­tain pro­vi­sos, gain­ing one point for ei­ther los­ing by seven points or less or for scor­ing four tries in a de­feat, and two points if they lose by seven points or less but score four tries in the process. If there is a draw both teams split the points as be­fore, only this time they will get two apiece.

A Grand Slam like Eng­land achieved in their first Six Na­tions un­der Ed­die Jones this year will see the team awarded three ex­tra points, which would give them some form of in­sur­ance over teams who might lose a match but gain enough bonus points to over­haul the side that beat all of their ri­vals. — AFP

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