Fool’s gold: The NRL must change its competition points

Fool’s gold: The NRL must change its competition points

There has been an anomaly in the allocation of NRL competition points since the introduction of the golden-point win.

New game results were added – a golden-point win and a golden-point loss – but they were given the same points as a win or a loss.

Changes need to be made to reflect golden-point results, as there were changes following the introduction of limited-tackle rules.

St George won their 13th NSWRL premiership in 1966, the last year played under the unlimited tackle rules. The game had become predictable, with teams playing safe and not tryng anything that would result in losing possession. The match of the round, usually involving Saints, was moved to the SCG and these matches were well attended, while games played at Belmore, Cumberland and North Sydney Oval were struggling to get more than 5000 spectators.

The four-tackle rule, introduced in 1967 by packing a scrum on tackle four, resulted in a game dominated by scrums and the often-puzzling scrum penalties. Games were being decided by on-field events that couldn’t be seen by spectators.

Before long, the field goal became the best scoring option on the fourth tackle for teams who had obtained good field position. After three years, complaints that the field goal was being over used became too loud to ignore – fans wanted wanted to see three-point tries, not an easy two-point field goal, so the field goal was reduced to one point.

While the change resulted in fewer field goals, the crowds that had grown to make 1967 a record-breaking year started to fall. This trend continued for 15 years and may have been the reason the points for a try was changed to four in 1983.

David Gallop gave us golden point by extending a drawn game by playing an extra time of five minutes each way, terminated by one team scoring any points.

The problem with golden point is at the end of all the other games, the result is determined by the scores at the end of 80 minutes. A team that wins should get more points than a team that draws and therefore the table is not a true reflection of the results.

Giving teams two points for a draw in the 80 minutes is not a true reflection of the game.

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To give the distinct results their own individual values, points should be distributed as: Four points for a win. Three points for a golden-point win. Two points for a draw. One point for a golden-point loss. Zero points for a loss.