In his latest World Cup column, rugby referee Nigel Owens has suggested that bonus points be introduced in both the FIFA World Cup and the Six Nations.
Owens has proposed such an idea as he feels it would encourage more attacking play in both rugby and football. Speaking with regard to the World Cup, he said:
I’m clearly talking about the group stages. My suggestion would be to reward teams for, say, a win by three clear goals, with four points instead of three.
This tournament, thankfully, has largely been an entertaining one, but there have still been some dour spectacles and I just think bonus points would act as an incentive for teams to adopt a more attacking approach.
It might also help to bring it in for matches involving teams playing 6-3-1 formations too.
He references the match between South Africa and New Zealand which he refereed last year in the 2013 Rugby Championship as a perfect example of how the hunt for a bonus point improves the quality of the game.
Whatever about football, Owens definitely sees no reason why it shouldn't be brought in for the Six Nations:
Any team that wins five games and hence the Grand Slam could be protected by the award of an automatic five bonus points for a clean sweep, to do away with the risk of a team who had won four and lost one but picked up bonus points finishing above them.
That would mean the Grand Slam winners would always be champions and the tournament could be livened up in the earlier stages by sides going for tries in the closing stages in the knowledge that it could be the difference in the final countdown if there is no Grand Slam.
I really do not see what the Six Nations has to lose with this.
Elsewhere in his piece, Owens was heavily critical of the reaction by officials and Argentinean staff to the possible concussion sustained by Javier Mascherano.
The fact that he staggered to the ground and looked in clear distress should have been enough to dictate that, at the very least, he was put through a detailed five-minute concussion test by medics before him playing on was even entertained.
Owens argued that FIFA must 'put in place a concrete protocol' to deal with head injuries and can learn a lot from how rugby and NFL are acting.
I think pretty much everyone is in agreement that what happened with Mascherano and with Pereira earlier on the tournament was absolute madness and one would have to worry about what it's going to take for FIFA to act and bring in new protocols around such injuries.
Have a €50 Free Bet on Balls - Thanks to our Betpack our World Cup betting partner - click here and use the promo code BET50