Sunday 21 January 2018

Schedule will ruin drama of final day drama

Stuart Lancaster
Stuart Lancaster

It is inherently unfair that the last weekend of the Six Nations is staggered to suit broadcast rights when all three matches should be played off simultaneously.

So it is with the Six Nations.

The simple fact that it holds strenuously tight to the archaic two points for a win, one for a draw, none for a loss without the use of the bonus-point system means The Championship will be won on points-difference for the third successive season, not plain points.

The way the points tally, it puts a premium on a Grand Slam because the last time the Six Nations was won without a Slam and on points, not points-difference, was 2011.

The advocacy of the bonus-points system, the one used in The Champions Cup, The Top-14, The English Premiership, The PRO12 League, Super Rugby would remove the win-at-all-costs to entertainment approach.

It would lead to a more pro-active competition where the temptation would lean more in the direction of attacking rugby, scoring tries, instead of mass, thunderous defence where scores are built in threes.

Even the greater importance placed on points-difference ahead of tries scored next weekend sends out a message of safety first rather than rewarding positivity. For the record,Stuart Lencaster (right) and his England side will have the advantage of being last on stage next Saturday, knowing exactly what they have to do.

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