Farrell backs new bonus-point system

Date published: December 29 2016

The new bonus-point system in the Six Nations will benefit the British and Irish Lions on their tour of New Zealand in 2017, says Andy Farrell.

Farrell, who will form part of Warren Gatland's coaching staff for the Lions tour as defence coach, said bonus points will encourage teams to be more attacking and score more tries.

The Six Nations confirmed last month that a new scoring system would be trialled for the next three years: four points for a win, with an extra point for scoring four tries or more. Losing teams will also claim a point if the margin of their defeat is seven points or fewer.

"We have been in front against them (New Zealand) with teams I have been involved with and they are masters at the comeback, staying calm and being clinical," Farrell told The Telegraph.

"The way to score that bonus-point try is exactly like that – staying calm, being clinical, not being frantic, and going about your job as you should do rather than being too emotional. It will create excitement as it goes, you’ll know what you need to do along the way, but you still won’t get away from the fact that you need to win.

"It is good for us because we want to play a good attacking style of rugby in Ireland, we have shown that with the tries we have scored of late. I believe it is going to be good for us, but everyone knows that you have to score points against New Zealand."

Farrell estimates that any side hoping to beat the All Blacks will have to score at least 28 points. In this year’s Rugby Championship, Steve Hansen’s side scored 262 points in six matches at an average of more than 43 points per game.

"They are pretty good at scoring points themselves. It is my job to keep it as low as possible," Farrell said. 

"Everyone talks about 24 to 28 (points), I said to the boys in Chicago, ‘You need to score 28 to 30 points against them, because they are very clinical’. We managed to score 40 and five tries which was a dream. That was pretty special."

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