The halving of competition points in Taranaki senior A club rugby has been a bugbear with some coaches, players and fans.
The rationale behind it, and why some clubs have supported it, centres on giving some of the underperforming sides in round one a chance of still making the semifinals.
The Taranaki Rugby Football Union have also argued it encourages teams not to default when they are out of the top four reckoning in the first round and appear to have nothing to play for.
So has it worked?
In a sense it has, given Eltham-Kaponga have been the only team to default a match in 2012, and that was only because of a drastic shortage of players, especially props.
The halving of the points also gave teams such as Clifton and Spotswood United a sniff of making the top four, although that was extinguished with several weeks left in round-robin play.
Interestingly, the top four at the end of round one were: Coastal (36 points), Tukapa (29), New Plymouth Old Boys (27) and Southern (27), while Inglewood were a further point back in fifth.
Fast forward eight weeks and, with a week to go in round two, the top four, after the points were halved, are: Tukapa (45 points), Inglewood (39), NPOB (39) and Coastal (38), with Southern a further seven points back in fifth.
If the points had not been halved at the end of the first round the top four would be: Tukapa (58 points), Inglewood (52), NPOB (47) and Coastal (54), with Southern a further 10 points adrift in fifth.
If it was taken a step further, and bonus points (given for scoring four or more tries and losing within seven points) were scrapped as well as doing away with halving the points, the top four would be: Tukapa (50 points), Coastal (50), NPOB (40), Inglewood (40), with Southern (34), Spotswood United (24), Clifton (20), Stratford (12) and Eltham-Kaponga (2) rounding out the table.
Clubs will vote next year if they want to continue with the current format of halving points and keeping the bonus point system for 2013.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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