Sports Letters: The freeing kick

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Sir: Alan Watkins (8 February) is right to highlight the frustration of supporters and players alike when matches are decided by a penalty lottery. However, the remedy is not to tinker with points values, but to devise punishments and rewards more appropriate to the offences. Dangerous or foul play should continue to be punished by the award of a penalty, but a modified free-kick should be awarded for all other current penalty offences.

After a free-kick direct to touch, the innocent side should have the option of a line-out or a scrum 15 metres in from touch. After a free-kick offence in the offender's 22, the innocent team could be given an option of a scrum 10m beyond the point of the offence. I believe these changes would lead to more tries.

Yours faithfully,



8 February