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Extra-time points revamp up for debate after England switches system

The losers of extra-time matches are set to receive one point in Britain’s Championship and League One competitions next season - and there is support for a similar move in the NRL.

The NRL has previously rejected the new RFL system of awarding one point to each team involved in a drawn match at full-time and a further point to the golden point winners as it would mean some games being worth more than others.

However, there have been suggestions the NRL should consider increasing the value of all matches to four points to create a system whereby a team losing in extra time could receive one point for being drawn at the end of 80 minutes.

Under such a proposal, points would be awarded on the following basis:

  • Four points for winning in regular time;
  • Three points for winning in extra time;
  • Two points for a draw after five minutes each way of extra time, 
  • One point for a golden point loss, and;
  • No points for a loss in regular time.

There is a feeling within the game that teams who have finished level after 80 minutes of regular time deserve some reward for their efforts if beaten during the extra period.

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If such a system had been in place last season, Wests Tigers would have edged Brisbane out of eighth place as they lost a golden-point game to Penrith in round four after a Nathan Cleary field goal.

With most extra-time matches decided by a field goal, some believe it has become a lottery to determine which team receives the two competition points.

As a result, an NFL-style “right of reply” has been mooted after concerns about some teams winning matches without their opponents touching the ball in the extra-time period.

Under the NFL model, if a team scores first with a field goal the opposition is given an opportunity with the ball to respond but a touchdown automatically decides the game.

In the NRL, that would equate to a team which had conceded a field goal or penalty goal being given a set of six tackles to draw the scores level again or win outright.

Debate about golden point resurfaced after Brisbane beat Parramatta 17-16 in round 24 through a Jamayne Isaako field goal without the Eels receiving a set of possession.

It is understood the issue was on the agenda at a recent meeting of the competition committee, which included NRL CEO Todd Greenberg, ARL chairman Peter V’landys, Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga, Penrith’s Ivan Cleary and North Queensland’s Paul Green and RLPA representative Clint Newton.

While the RLPA has been keen to limit extra time due to concerns about player welfare, the union is also concerned about equity in the results of matches.

The Broncos celebrate their golden point win over the Eels.
The Broncos celebrate their golden point win over the Eels. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

A meeting of NRL coaches on Friday is expected to discuss the possibility of changes for drawn matches next season but it is unlikely that golden try will replace golden point.

The NRL has previously rejected the idea of awarding each team in a drawn match one point and then providing the opportunity for them to earn a further point by winning in extra time as some games would then be worth three points and others two.

Only one match in 2019, between the Broncos and Warriors in round 17, finished in a draw after extra time.

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said the system would be introduced for Championship and League One matches next season – but not in Super League, which will be played under the same golden point rules that operate in the NRL.

"The clubs were keen to maintain a one-point reward for teams securing a draw, in addition to providing the possibility of extra excitement in golden point extra time – and we hope that supporters will welcome this innovation," Rimmer said.


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.

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