Scoring in Rugby

scoring in rugby

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Unlike most other sports, there are various ways to score points in rugby union. From tries to drop goals, find out how many points each is worth.

1. Try - 5 points 

Worth five points, the try is the primary method of scoring in rugby that earns teams the most points. A try is effectively scored when a player grounds the ball by applying downward pressure on it on the goal line, in the in-goal area, or touching the ball at the base of the goalposts.

In cases when the referee deems that the defending team has applied foul means to prevent a try from being scored, a penalty try is awarded. Such tries are awarded right in the middle of the goal posts, allowing the attacking team to execute a simpler conversion kick.

2. Conversion - 2 points

After each try, teams are given the opportunity to score two additional points by means of a conversion kick. This kick is taken at any point in the field of play in line to where the try was scored and parallel to the touch line so teams therefore aim to score a try as close as possible to the goalposts. A successful conversion attempt happens when the ball is kicked above the crossbar and between the posts. While conversions are usually in the form of a place kick (by teeing the ball upright on the ground), they may be attempted as a drop kick, which is how conversions are done for rugby sevens.

3. Penalty Kick – 3 points 

In the event that the defending team commits a major infringement, the attacking team can then choose to take a penalty kick at the spot where the foul occurs. Penalty kicks are place kicks where a player has one minute from the time the ball is teed up to when it’s kicked before the opposition team can charge it down. Just like during a conversion attempt, should the ball fall over after the 60 seconds grace period is up, the kicker will then have to kick the ball from where it lies or quickly pick it up and attempt a drop kick.

4. Drop Goal – 3 points

Worth three points, this method of scoring is done in open play often from an ensuing scrum or lineout. A player has to drop the ball, let it touch the ground then kick it above the crossbar and between the posts. The drop kick is more difficult to execute than a penalty kick, as it requires a greater level of kicking technique and timing.

5. Bonus points system 

In league and tournament play involving group tables, teams are awarded four points for a win and two for a draw. To encourage attacking rugby and more tries in the game, a bonus point is awarded to teams who score four or more tries while a team can also earn a bonus point for losing by 7 points or less. Note that a team can only earn a maximum of five points in a match.

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