Tuesday 12 December 2017

Race for bonus points put on back burner

Liam Williams missed a late opportunity for Wales last weekend. Photo: PA
Liam Williams missed a late opportunity for Wales last weekend. Photo: PA

Johnny O'Connor

Ireland will probably win with a bonus point but it will be a slow-burner in Rome this weekend. You can't really predict anything in the Six Nations.

There are pros and cons regarding the bonus-point system. It's difficult to tell straight away whether it's a good or bad thing, because it looked useful when Wales were trying their hardest to get over the line against Italy at the death last weekend.

But Liam Williams missed their late opportunity and knocked on, meaning they left with four instead of five points, so from that point of view the bonus-point system looked to be working. But then Scotland were in a fairly similar situation against Ireland - they could have got all five points, and denied Ireland a losing bonus point, but they were just happy to get the game over with and win. 

It is difficult to implement it where you only have five games. You either take the risk of losing four points and getting an extra one, and it may not open up the game as much as people like. 

If you lose your first game, it's very hard to get back involved in the Championship. The bonus points don't make that much of a difference, they will later in the tournament, but teams won't be chasing them in every game until things become clearer.

Irish Independent

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