The following shows how the score for a try evolved as the game rules changed. It is hard to generalise since different rugby union organisations had their own sets of rules. It is also important to note that the number of points for a try may not change but changes in points for goals (place, drop, penalty and conversion kicks) could change the “value” of a try.
- 1845 - A try had no points value but was required for an attempted place kick “try at goal”.
- 1875 - A try becomes a tie breaker when the number goals is equal.
- 1886 - A new points system was established that stated:
A match shall be decided by a majority of points, a goal shall equal three points, and a try one point. If the number of points be equal, or no goal kicked or try obtained, the match shall be drawn. Where a goal is kicked from a try the goal only is scored."
- This rule change followed two attempts in 1881 and 1882 to allow a try to be worth some points. Prior to this there were many ad hoc scoring systems used that did credit different points values to tries, drop kicks and place kicks.
- 1891 - The IRFB increase the points for a try to two:
A try shall equal 2 points, a penalty goal 3 points, a goal from a try (the try not also to count) 5 points. Any other goal shall equal 4 points.
- 1893 - RFU refine the points scheme by giving three points for a try and reduce the conversion (goal kicked after a try) to two points. Thus, a score from a try and successful conversion is still worth five points. IRFB also adopt this scheme.
- 1971 - As a two year experiment the IRFB increase the points for a try from three to four points. This change became permanent in 1973.
- 1992 - IRFB increases the points awarded for a try to five points.