Rugby Union

Super Rugby 2016: Bonus points system set to put emphasis on tries

SANZAR is expected to announce a significant change to the Super Rugby bonus points system with teams set to be rewarded for scoring three more tries than their opposition. 

In a bid to promote more free-flowing rugby for the entire duration of a match, the SANZAR board met on Thursday to discuss a radical proposal which would result in the abolition of the bonus point awarded when a team scores four or more tries. 

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Instead, Super Rugby teams will notch up an extra point if they score three or more tries than their opposition in a match, meaning bonus points will not be determined so easily and early on like in previous years. 

There have been occasions when teams have racked up their four tries and, knowing they cannot gain anything more from the match, have brought in a number of substitutes from around the 60-minute mark. 

However, the new bonus points system will hopefully encourage sides to stick with their best 15 players for longer and prevent lopsided contests. 

There is also speculation, according to a South African report, that referees' microphones will be broadcast around the ground so fans can listen to exactly what is being said by those in charge. 

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The bonus-point system has been adopted from the French Top 14 competition, which has had great success in recent years with the point-scoring system. 

Whilst greater attack is the desired outcome, a resolute defensive effort is needed to maintain the three-try buffer. 

Meanwhile, the bonus point awarded to teams who come within seven points of their opponent will remain, such is the plan to reward close contests. 

An official announcement is expected on Thursday afternoon after the board finishes its meeting. 

The Super Rugby season gets underway on February 26 with the Blues taking on the Highlanders, while the NSW Waratahs get their campaign started a day later against the Queensland Reds. 

This year's competition has expanded from the 15 teams to 18 - as the Jaguares from Argentina, Sunwolves from Japan and a sixth franchise from South Africa prepare to do battle against the 15 Australian, New Zealand and South Africa franchises. 

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