How the Six Nations bonus points work and what teams must do to earn them

The Six Nations 2020 reaches its halfway point this weekend with the third round of matches taking place.

After two matches France and Ireland lead the way on nine points each with defending champions Wales tied in third place with England, both on five points.

Scotland and Italy are the only teams without a victory so far with two defeats from the opening two matches, however if you look at the table there’s one difference between the two sides. Scotland have two points and Italy have none.

Thanks to the Six Nations’ bonus points rules Scotland have managed to pull clear of Italy in the table. But how does it work? Here’s what you need to know…

Scoring system

The basic scoring system in the Six Nations is pretty straightforward.

Four points are awarded for a win and two apiece if the match ends in a draw and none to the losing side.

The bonus points system was brought in for 2017 to entice the teams to play more attacking rugby and there are two ways to earn them.

First of all any team that scores four tries or more in a match earns a bonus point. So far France, Ireland, Wales and England have all done this once during this year’s championship.

The other way to a bonus point is by seven points or fewer.

Six Nations 2020 bonus points so far

Here’s how the bonus points have been dished out so far in 2020.

1. France 35-22 Italy: France ran in five tries in their win over Italy earning them a bonus point as well as four for the win.

2. Ireland 24-14 Wales: Ireland went over four times to beat the defending champions, giving them a bonus point. They also scored four for their victory.

3. Wales 42-0 Italy: Wales’ five tries in the opening match of the Six Nations 2020 gave them one more point to add to the four they earned for winning the match.

4. France 24-17 England: England got a bonus point in their defeat by France as they lost by seven points. France were awarded four for winning the match.

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