Ought to the Six Nations have bonus factors?
PA England Rugby Correspondent
You’ll in all probability anticipate the case for bonus factors to concentrate on the inducement they supply groups to assault. However recall occasions on the Stade de France within the opening spherical of final 12 months’s males’s Six Nations for another perspective on why they should be retained.
England had been overwhelmed within the first half in Paris, a 17-0 half-time deficit signposting a heavy defeat till Jonny Might intervened. His two good tries hauled the World Cup runners-up again into competition, however the important thing second was Owen Farrell’s stoppage-time penalty that secured a shedding bonus level. It was solely February however that successfully received England the championship at France’s expense.
Sure, bonus factors encourage groups to succeed in for the jugular, offering the try-scoring fireworks important to guard the sport’s enchantment in a crowded leisure market. And sure, they will add a brand new dimension of sporting theatre to ‘Tremendous Saturday’ as rivals analyse the myriad permutations that illuminate their path to the title.
But in addition contemplate the shedding bonus level, as demonstrated that afternoon in Paris, when England had been rewarded for staying within the battle, for displaying the resilience to come back again, for making certain the sport stayed aggressive. Out of their despair in the end got here glory.
What a blander place the Six Nations can be with out the subplots of the smaller rewards on supply in every Check, the sport inside a sport. Let traditionalists wallow in rose-tinted nostalgia; the remainder of us are having fun with the intrigue that always retains groups battling till the top.
BBC Rugby Union Correspondent
Within the Six Nations, profitable needs to be all the things and shedding nothing. This has all the time been the way in which and it’s what makes the competitors particular. Sure, you may win the title after shedding a match, but it surely’s the Grand Slam groups that all of us bear in mind.
The very fact there are bonus factors in a event just like the Six Nations, or the World Cup, is an utter travesty. Was Owen Farrell consoled by a shedding bonus level in spherical one this 12 months, or Stuart Hogg in spherical two? Did Wales followers even discover they’d scored a strive bonus level at Murrayfield? I used to be commentating on the match and I didn’t. The sport was too shut, the strain too excessive, to get caught up in a peripheral irrelevance like that.
The story goes that bonus factors promote attacking rugby. A fallacy. The sight of Farrell kicking a penalty purpose in Paris in 2020, with England overwhelmed, made me wince. So too Joey Carbery kicking it lifeless so Eire may keep inside seven factors in opposition to Japan on the 2019 World Cup. It’s rugby’s model of waving the white flag. But, within the case of England final 12 months, it ended up profitable them the title.
I can see the advantage of bonus factors in a 22-round league marketing campaign. However not in tournaments.
I recall interviewing Stephen Moore in the course of the 2015 World Cup. Australia had been within the ‘Pool of Demise’ and everybody was getting labored up about bonus factors. The Wallabies had overwhelmed Fiji with out scoring 4 tries, and I requested Moore whether or not it might be pricey. He checked out me like I used to be mad. “We have to win seven video games to win the World Cup,” he stated. Fairly proper.
Eliminate bonus factors within the Six Nations. There isn’t a proof to counsel they’ve made any distinction since they got here in. If something, they simply serve to devalue the nice competitors.
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This debate first appeared within the April 2021 challenge of Rugby World.