Everybody likes a winner, but a competition with just a few teams in it will end in a tie too often. And a that’s like kissing your sister.
Let’s use the bonus point system they use in Super Rugby: gain a point for scoring four tries or more and for losing by seven or less; then if the comp comes up tied, take it on the number of tries scored, then on points for and against.
Better still, use the Top 14 bonus point system. They have a losing bonus point deal, but to get a try scoring bonus point in France you have to score three more tries than your opponent does; so only one team can get a try bonus point in a game.
This rewards defence: teams can’t coast having scored four tries to one with a win secured, because the losing team can score a try on the bell and spoil the bonus party. Seen it lots of times. And nobody gets a try bonus point in a loose game when one team scores six tries and the other four.
I know what you are going to say in the pub with a schooner in your hand: why give a loser a point for losing — or even worse, two points if they’ve scored four tries — and you use the Super Rugby method?
You’ve got your biggest rival by the nuts, the foot on the throat (hard to do both at the same time but this is my blog), the siren goes off, and the bastards are still smiling because they’ve got two points. Make it no points for losing.
Not so fast, says the bloke drinking the shandy. Watch the Heineken Cup in the pool games: there are only four teams in each pool and they play six games: three at home and three away. There are some stupendous finishes, for example when teams are striving to get a losing bonus point in France and the pool standings are tight.
There are bound to be ties when teams lose only one game out of six, and sometimes there are three-way ties. We’ve seen it in recent years in the GPS: Shore, View and Joeys tied in 2006, and Kings and View tied in 2008 and 2009 — everybody wins.
Whichever bonus system you use, something is better than nothing in a small competition.
Three ties in a competition in six seasons are too many. If a bonus points system is good enough for the Rugby World Cup it should be good enough for the GPS.
Get with it, GPS guys.