Sunday, 24 August 2014

ARU’s move to reduce the number of points for a penalty goal has had a massive impact on tactics of the newly created competition: in the two games I watched there wasn’t a single penalty kicked for the sticks, all penalties were either sent for touch or quickly taken. The effect was a free flowing game with pace and continuous ball movement.
But if you think that this massive change in tactics has made the goal kicking skills redundant, think again.

At least until the players will learn to run every time as close to the posts as possible, with 3 points for a conversion, kicking can still be decisive: two converted tries under the old rules were less than three converted ones, now it is not. With two converted tries a team will be awarded 16 points, instead of 14 with the old rules, but three unconverted tries are still worth 15 points. A massive difference if your major scores come from the sidelines and your kicker is just a quick paced back with no refined skills.
Furthermore the new rules allows only 60 seconds to the kicker, so precision have to be matched with the capacity of quickly concentrate and regain breath.

So, if this experiment with the scoring system will continue, or be extended to other tournaments or even became the new worldwide norm, keep teaching your kids how to approach the tee. Maybe the long distance kicking will fall from grace, but a good conversion from the sideline will still be something to look for:

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