Dave Rennie shocked at change to bonus-point system

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said proposed changes to the Super Rugby bonus-point system have come out of left field. Photo/Getty
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said proposed changes to the Super Rugby bonus-point system have come out of left field. Photo/Getty

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie, a member of World Rugby's law committee, is dismayed that no consultation was held over the proposed changes to the Super Rugby bonus-point system.

Tournament organisers Sanzar are expected to announce soon that the bonus point awarded to teams who score more than four tries in a game will be scrapped and replaced by one for teams who score three tries more than their opponents.

Rennie echoed Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder's shock at learning of the proposed changes via email, and said they had come straight out of left field after a planned conference between coaches and referees was cancelled late last year.

"To find out through an email, this is how it's going to be, is obviously frustrating," Rennie told Radio Sport. "At no stage was this talked about, so it's frustrating we've had no say in this.

"There was supposed to be a conference in November with all the coaches going to it, and then they cancelled it. It was a chance for coaches and referees to sit in one room and discuss a lot of things, so we've really missed an opportunity there."

Rennie said the mooted change was previously discussed by the law committee but quickly dismissed, and he remains skeptical it will help improve the game and make it easier to watch. Rather than encouraging teams to play open and entertaining rugby, he fears it could have the opposite effect.

"It was brought up a couple of years ago as an idea adopted from France and we squashed it pretty quickly," he said.

"For us, of all the things that we could change in our game that would make it better and easier to watch, the bonus point system wasn't one of them.

"The trouble with this is Sanzar are trying to make changes that will force us to play a certain way but, realistically, teams will play the way they want to play.

"They think that if you score four tries and the opposition has scored two you've got to keep playing and it's got to make the game better. But realistically, if a team, let's say we're up by four tries with 20 to go, we may say, 'oh, we're going to close shop' because the only way the opposition are going to score is by us making mistakes. So you end up slowing the game down and playing less."

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