Are three points too many?

Michael takes a look at the impact on results with a change in the points scoring system.

By Michael Kerr
9th April 2015
By Michael Kerr
9th April 2015

Watching the Leinster v Bath game on the weekend led me down a familiar train of thought, and back to many conversations I have had throughout my time of enjoying our sport. It is one of the few conversations I have where Rugby League and Rugby Union come in for some comparison and constructive analysis of the point scoring systems for both games.

Rugby League has remained fairly true to earlier point scoring systems where a try is worth four points, penalties and conversions two points, and drop goals one point. Union has obviously upped the scoring to five points for a try, two for a conversion and three for penalties and drop goals. This is where the conversation begins - should penalties be worth three points, or is it detrimental to the game (especially at test level)? I know this will sound like sour grapes as Bath lost on the weekend; but it struck me that had the scoring system been different, more similar to that of League, Bath, who scored two tries to nil, would have won the game by 15 points to 12.

I fully admit that Bath lost the game due to their own ill discipline, and again understand that I sound like a bad loser. However, would lowering the scores on offer for penalties and drop goals lead to more entertaining rugby, with teams kicking for the corner or tapping and going, which would presumably in turn lead to more tries?

Should we be rewarding the team that scores tries more highly, and would this therefore be a fairer result? I actually disagree, and believe the current scoring system is completely justified and takes nothing away from the entertainment value of the game. In fact, I disagree with League scoring when it comes to the drop goal; having played rugby for many years I have obviously tried my hand at the odd drop goal in training, and I have the utmost respect for anyone attempting such a skill in a game with a man or two on the rampage with intent to charge your shot down - if anything, three points is too few!

Hopefully this stirs a bit of debate in your local club - just think about the number of games in which the outcome may have been different had one side not dominated the penalty count despite not getting within 10 meters of the try line. It would be great to get some of your thoughts on this.

The Rugby Magazine

Filed under: Champions Cup, Spirit Of The Game
Written by: Michael Kerr
Follow: @michaelj_kerr · @therugbymag

Stay up to date

We're constantly writing new material, and we would love you to like or follow us to stay up to date.

© Corvita Ltd 2024 Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy Built by Corvita Back to top
Rugby Magazine Logo