Here’s A Breakdown Of How The New Six Nations Bonus Point System Will Work
The Six Nations today announced that they will finally be introducing a bonus-point system.
This system will be implemented on a trial basis in all three Championships in 2017 and will be reviewed post Championships. As part of their review of the Championships, the Council took the decision to implement a bonus point system to encourage and reward try scoring and attacking play.
Competition points will be awarded in all matches on the following basis:
(i) The Union that wins the match shall be awarded four match points or (if it scores four tries or more in the process) five Match Points.
This is fairly straight forward, just like some of the biggest tournaments in the world such as the Champions Cup, a team will now be rewarded for attacking play that results in tries. An extra point will be rewarded for scoring a four tries or more resulting in a five try bonus point win. Previously only two points was awarded for a win, with no extra points awarded for four tries or more which means teams will at least get two extra points for a win in 2017
(ii) The Union that loses the Match shall be awarded no Match Points or (if it scores four tries or more in the process or loses by a margin of seven points or fewer) one Match Point or (if it scores four tries or more in the process and loses by a margin of seven points or fewer) two Match Points.
Once again nothing new here. This encourages teams to fight back and stay within seven points as they will will be rewarded with a losing bonus-point. If a team lose for example by a four tries to three margin, staying within seven points, the winning team will get five points while the losing team gets one point. Should a team lose by five tries to four and stay within seven points, they will receive two points, while the winning team gets five.
(iii) Unions that draw a Match shall each be awarded two Match Points and any of them that scores four tries or more in the process shall be awarded a further one Match Point.
If we end up with a thriller where both teams grab four tries but end up drawing the game they can still end up with three points each due to the new system. A low scoring draw will end up in two points each whereas previously a draw would only end up in one point for each team.
(iv) A Union that wins all five of its Matches (a “Grand Slam”) shall be awarded a further three Match Points.
This is the issue that many had with introducing a bonus-point system. Can a team that does the Grand Slam still lose the Six Nations? With this special clause, should a team do the Grand Slam they will be awarded a further three special Grand Slam points making it impossible for them to lose the series, regardless of how many bonus points they get in each of their games.
So for example if Ireland won five games without getting any bonus points along the way they would end up on 23 points.
If England won four games and just lost to Ireland with a two losing bonus points (one for four tries and one for staying within seven), getting a bonus point in all four of their other games games they would end up on 22 points.
What do you think of the new system? Is it the right move going forward and will it make the Six Nations more entertaining?