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  • Points Scoring Change Trial in South Africa

    It has been revealed on SAReferees.co.za that their Varsity Cup competition has this season been given dispensation from the iRB to trial a new points scoring system.

    The article from SAReferees.co.za can be found here: Varsity Cup's points' difference

    The main points of the article show that their point scoring will be as follows:


    • Try - 5 Points
    • Conversion - 3 Points
    • Penalty Goal - 2 Points
    • Drop Goal - 2 Points


    I believe that their trial is a good thing, it is allowing teams to strive for the coveted try which would give them 8 points if converted, while looking to reduce the reliance on teams winning games by kicking at goal from any penalty within the oppositions half, however I don't believe it goes far enough.

    The reduction of a penalty to two points is bound to pave the way for calls of it being a cheats charter, gifting the defences a few opportunities to give away low scoring penalties instead of conceding a possible 8 points from a try. It may even now be worth the sacrifice of a yellow card to stop that last surge getting through when time is short.

    While the point system is quite good, in my opinion, what is missing is a way to deter the defence from giving away the penalty in the first place. This was the main failing of the ELV which made certain offences free kicks, because it seemed to be giving teams a few chances to spoil before the sanction got upgraded to a penalty and started to hurt.

    I believe their is a solution though to prevent a team from giving away easy penalties, and it is quite an easy solution.

    After a successful penalty kick at goal, restart the game at the mark where the offence occurred (which was probably where the penalty was taken from too) with the throw in to the non offending team.

    This will have the effect that giving away needless penalties may not reduce the pressure from a team that is trying to defend using illegal tactics, however it's also not all a win win situation for the attackers either, if they miss the kick at goal, and it goes dead, the game should restart with a 22m drop out.

    I believe the points change coupled with this amendment to restarts after a successful penalty kick would go a long way to keeping the balance between points & play.

    I'd be interested to read your thoughts on this.
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. OB..'s Avatar
      OB.. -
      Obviously I agree with your restart proposal! In fact I think it should apply to any penalty kick at goal that goes dead without being played, not just successful ones.
    1. Robert Burns's Avatar
      Robert Burns -
      Would that not be a double bite at the cherry? We'd see every kick aimed at goal because they know they are coming back, with the requirement for successful kick it keeps the importance of the kicker whilst not removing the pressure from the cheats, sorry, er, defenders..
    1. OB..'s Avatar
      OB.. -
      Quote Originally Posted by Robert Burns View Post
      Would that not be a double bite at the cherry? We'd see every kick aimed at goal because they know they are coming back, with the requirement for successful kick it keeps the importance of the kicker whilst not removing the pressure from the cheats, sorry, er, defenders..
      Only if they can make the distance. I am more concerned about the fairly short range miss.

      However a trial would sort that out.
    1. chopper15's Avatar
      chopper15 -
      Isn't it about time the injustice of awarding the chance of 3pts just because the foul play offence was within kicking distance of goal was addressed?

      If the foul is to be downgraded to only 2pts why not award 1pt directly and let play flow with an out-of-hand kick? Should a side choose to kick at goal instead for 2pts then let them . . . . nowt if they miss. This gamble would echo the scrum-back risk (long over-due!) for a missed DK at goal.
    1. Adam's Avatar
      Adam -
      I think the points system is fine as it is. Although a scrum to the opposition if the ball goes dead from a goal attempt seems fair to me.
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