Try scoring is the biggest way that points are scored in rugby, but you will often see teams slowly build up the score through adding three points. Teams that do this regularly are often referred to as “kicking teams”.
How do you get 3 points in rugby? You get three points in rugby by either kicking a penalty or kicking a drop goal. While these are worth less than the five point Try, they are often easier to score and racking them up in great volume can add a lot of points to your game total.
In terms of during a game, there are only two ways that you can get three points added to your score. The major way this is done is through a penalty. When an attacking team concedes a penalty they can choose to attempt a kick from the spot that they earned the penalty. This is a dead kick and the defending team are not allowed to try to charge this down.
If this kick is successful then they are awarded three points and the game restarts from the halfway line. The other way that a team can get three points is through a drop goal. This does not happen in a deal ball scenario, with a drop goal being scored from open play by any player.
To get a drop goal the kicker must drop the ball onto the floor and kick it immediately through the posts. If this is successful then the team can get three points. A drop goal or a penalty are the only two ways that a team can earn three points during a game.
How do you get 3 points from a rugby game?
In most Rugby competitions there is only one way that a team can come out of the game with three points as it is four points for a win, one more than in rugby. Due to the bonus point system of most competitions, it is possible for a team to get three points from a game.
If a team draws a game then they are awarded two points. They can get three points by drawing a game and earning the try-scoring bonus point. This is given to any team that scores four tries in a game. By getting the extra bonus point for scoring four tries and drawing the game, a team can earn three points.
This is the case for the majority of major rugby competitions however there are some exceptions. The try bonus point is only awarded to the winning team in The Rugby Championship and Super Rugby. The rule is that if you score at least three tries more than the opponent then you get the try-scoring bonus point.
So if a team draws the game they cannot get the bonus point for scoring more tries than their opponent.
Best Drop goal in rugby history?
There are a few different examples in the history of rugby of some exceptional drop goals, but there are a few that stand out above the rest.
Johnny Wilkinson vs Australia, 2003
I think if you were talking about the most famous drop goal in rugby history then it would have to be Johnny Wilkinson’s kick against Australia in the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final.
England and Australia were both undefeated heading into the final, but Australia were seen as the favourites because the game was taking place in Sydney. Despite that, the two teams were pretty evenly matched throughout the game.
The two teams traded tries in the first half but England went into the half with the 14-5 lead thanks to three penalties from Johnny Wilkinson. But in the second half, the boot of Elton Flatley was massive for Australia, kicking three penalties to make the game tied at 14 at the end of 80 minutes.
The game went to extra time and England took the lead in the 82nd minute and it looked likely that they would hold on for the win. But Lawrence Dallaglio conceded a penalty with only a couple of minutes to go. Flatley nailed the penalty and levelled the score with only a couple of minutes.
England managed to make a couple of line breaks and get themselves into a position to set up a drop goal. Matt Dawson found Johnny Wilkinson in some space and he slotted the drop goal with only 28 seconds left in the game. England managed to hold onto the game and won the World Cup thanks to the drop goal.
Freddie Burns vs Saracens 2022
Leicester Tigers may have topped the Premiership in the 2021/22 season but they faced a difficult test in the final against Saracens. Leicester got the final off to a very good start, with tries through Hanro Liebenberg and Jasper Wiese. However, there was a major issue for the Tigers.
Fly-half George Ford had gone off in the 23rd minute with a torn Achilles and it meant that Freddie Burns had come on a lot earlier than he expected. Burns slotted one of the conversions and the Tigers held the lead following the hour mark. But a pair of Owen Farrell penalties tied the game at 12-12 with only a few minutes remaining.
Losing the Premiership’s top points scorer was a big blow for Leicester and Burns had a huge responsibility. He played excellently in the game and set up for the drop goal in the final few minutes. Burns set up in the pocket and nailed the drop goal to give Leicester the lead. The Tigers held on and won the Premiership title.
Francois Steyn vs Clermont 2010
This may not have had quite as much on the line as the other two drop goals, but it is certainly one of the most incredible drop goals in rugby history. With his side up 14-12, Steyn received the ball in his own half from a clearance.
Instead of running the ball back at the Clermont defence, Steyn decided to go for the drop goal instead despite being 60 metres out. Steyn managed to nail the most incredible drop goal. The kick was so good that it flew over with 20 metres to spare and the commentators were stunned.