MoeFOH

NRL Wild Card Finals Proposal

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https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/03/04/nrl-proposes-wildcard-weekend-to-revamp-finals-format/

I've never liked the top 8 system, as I think a finals spot for a team with say a 12-12 record is a bit of a sham. Funnily enough, though, I actually really like the idea of this Wild Card extension to teams 9 and 10. It's counterintuitive, but if we're stuck with a top 8 system, then embracing its aforementioned flaws actually makes sense and appeals to me. For instance, a team that had suffered a horrific injury toll during the season proper might get a last-ditch shot to resurrect their season. Or a genuine top eight team that missed out due to some glaringly dud officiating might get another shot to right the wrongs. And there's always the fairytale finish of going on a giant-killing run of momentum through the finals... It certainly will keep fans engaged for longer, which is the whole point (read: tv ratings, money). 

The one big problem such a system would have to address is the dilution of the competition for higher spots. You don't want teams cruising into the finals on sub-par performances for parts of the year. Perhaps the top four, in a tiered fashion, might get extra salary cap relief for the following season (Roosters excluded, as they seem to get it anyway). I don't know, but some serious extra credit would need to be afforded to the top finishing teams to make this fly.

Thoughts? 

 

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they'll never give top sides salary cap relief. it completely defeats the point of the cap. the rich get richer which is supposedly what they want to avoid.

as soon as i read this, i was strongly opposed. the tenth side gets a chance in the finals. give me a break. why bother watching the season. 

a genuine top 8 side doesn't miss the finals on the back of one decision. a very marginal side might. injuries are part of the season. cruel but the team that manages its players well suddenly loses the advantage of doing so. 

some side going on a run from tenth does the opposite for me. a side that has worked hard and had success all season suddenly gets dumped by a team that has not but just happened to click for a few weeks. i'd lose interest real quick. 

i'm not sure it will attract more fans. if the finals are easier to get into, why am i going to be invested in the season? 

i think this is a monumental mistake which devalues the competition. 

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20 minutes ago, Ken Gargett said:

they'll never give top sides salary cap relief. it completely defeats the point of the cap. the rich get richer which is supposedly what they want to avoid.

as soon as i read this, i was strongly opposed. the tenth side gets a chance in the finals. give me a break. why bother watching the season. 

a genuine top 8 side doesn't miss the finals on the back of one decision. a very marginal side might. injuries are part of the season. cruel but the team that manages its players well suddenly loses the advantage of doing so. 

some side going on a run from tenth does the opposite for me. a side that has worked hard and had success all season suddenly gets dumped by a team that has not but just happened to click for a few weeks. i'd lose interest real quick. 

i'm not sure it will attract more fans. if the finals are easier to get into, why am i going to be invested in the season? 

i think this is a monumental mistake which devalues the competition. 

The rich get richer? Who says it's the rich? If the West Tigers, for example, finish minor premiers, then they get a salary cap relief for the following year--only. They'd have to realign spending for the following season after that. And all teams are "supposedly" on a cap anyway, so rich doesn't come into it. That said, it doesn't have to be cap relief. It could come in any other form of bonus that makes a top-four finish highly sought after so as not to dilute the season proper. 

You can't manage injuries. They just happen. And I think a team heavily hampered by a big injury toll and getting stars back on the field for the finals, still with a slim hope, makes for a more interesting finals series. And I remember Canberra getting a run of atrocious decisions late last year. 

But, like I said at the outset, I've never been a fan of the top 8 to start with. But if we're stuck with that instead of the old top 5 (which I used to love), then why not embrace the extension? For me, the top 8 is just a half-arsed version of what they're now proposing. 

I'm for it. 

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11 minutes ago, MoeFOH said:

The rich get richer? Who says it's the rich? If the West Tigers, for example, finish minor premiers, then they get a salary cap relief for the following year--only. They'd have to realign spending for the following season after that. And all teams are "supposedly" on a cap anyway, so rich doesn't come into it. That said, it doesn't have to be cap relief. It could come in any other form of bonus that makes a top-four finish highly sought after so as not to dilute the season proper. 

You can't manage injuries. They just happen. And I think a team heavily hampered by a big injury toll and getting stars back on the field for the finals, still with a slim hope, makes for a more interesting finals series. And I remember Canberra getting a run of atrocious decisions late last year. 

But, like I said at the outset, I've never been a fan of the top 8 to start with. But if we're stuck with that instead of the old top 5 (which I used to love), then why not embrace the extension? For me, the top 8 is just a half-arsed version of what they're now proposing. 

I'm for it. 

all your cigars against all mine that the tigers are not minor premiers? 

but seriously, have a look at the way sides have finished over the last decade, even with the cap in place (there was an article in 'the roar' site on it). storm, roosters, broncos. then a couple of others. 

but you really want the storm, broncs and chooks getting salary cap relief? would make it even more certain that they'd be back at the top the next year. and so on. some other reward, perhaps. but there'll never agree to cap relief. can you imagine the eels, titans, raiders, tigers et al agreeing to that? 

all sides cop shocker decisions which you can't help (unless it is that ratbag harrigan and others stitching up the maroons). think of the cowboys. got done in the finals about three years straight by horror decisions. video helps. professional refs help. but it is sport and will never be perfect. 

i agree. liked the five. can live with the 8. but 10? for me, that reduces interest in the season. the odds are that unless your team is a bag of dead cats, it will make the finals. so why bother. 

i really think it is a massive error to even consider it. the side that comes in 10th wins the comp? my response would be that i really don't care any more. why not go the entire way and have all 16. the season just decides their position in the finals. 

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5 minutes ago, Ken Gargett said:

i really think it is a massive error to even consider it. the side that comes in 10th wins the comp? my response would be that i really don't care any more. why not go the entire way and have all 16. the season just decides their position in the finals. 

My point is, is 10th winning that much worse than 8th winning? And in this system, all they'd be doing is swapping places. It reverts to the normal system after the Wild Card weekend. 

Again, I'm only advocating it on the basis that you may as well milk the most out of what is already a diluted finals system. 

My perfect system--in terms of a legitimate winner for the season and a chance for all teams to win something--would be to run things the way the Premier League does. Top of the table wins it all--most prestige resides here. Run a knockout comp off to the side. Lose the finals altogether. Or replace them with the tail end of the knockout comp at the end of the year. 

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2 minutes ago, MoeFOH said:

My point is, is 10th winning that much worse than 8th winning? And in this system, all they'd be doing is swapping places. It reverts to the normal system after the Wild Card weekend. 

Again, I'm only advocating it on the basis that you may as well milk the most out of what is already a diluted finals system. 

My perfect system--in terms of a legitimate winner for the season and a chance for all teams to win something--would be to run things the way the Premier League does. Top of the table wins it all--most prestige resides here. Run a knockout comp off to the side. Lose the finals altogether. Or replace them with the tail end of the knockout comp at the end of the year. 

no chance of the finals going. but i understand what you say re the EPL. difference there is that if you had a final, presumably the higher team could just draw or we go to penalties. neither ideal. 

i agree re 8 winning. why i also like the five.

and realistically, the chances of a side coming 10th getting up is very slim. negligible. 

why i hate the idea is that the rounds are key to making the finals. that is what gives them interest. look at last year - 2 points between 1 and 8. kept us riveted. but if there is not that drama in the general rounds, i may or might not watch. hey, my side, whatever it is, will make the finals (unless they are a basket case), might be 4th or might be 10th but they'll get there so why bother. i think that attitude will come in. sure, you get extra tv ratings etc, for the extra finals, but i think you diminish interest in the season. 

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My guess is that this preempts a competition expansion, too. Maybe 18-20 teams, in the coming years. God, I hope not. We just don't have the population, depth. It was a disaster last time, but I've heard it's where they are headed again. 

I reckon a sideline knockout comp would be great. I used to love the old mid-week comps. Take it to the country areas like they used to. Great stuff. Also, make it that sides have to include a minimum number of lower-tier players, ISP and U19s, giving it both a rising-star appeal and not making it too taxing on the first-team. 

In the end, Ken, as we well know, money will dictate. If they think they can squeeze extra dollars out of it, then the wild card system will get the nod.

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42 minutes ago, MoeFOH said:

My guess is that this preempts a competition expansion, too. Maybe 18-20 teams, in the coming years. God, I hope not. We just don't have the population, depth. It was a disaster last time, but I've heard it's where they are headed again. 

I reckon a sideline knockout comp would be great. I used to love the old mid-week comps. Take it to the country areas like they used to. Great stuff. Also, make it that sides have to include a minimum number of lower-tier players, ISP and U19s, giving it both a rising-star appeal and not making it too taxing on the first-team. 

In the end, Ken, as we well know, money will dictate. If they think they can squeeze extra dollars out of it, then the wild card system will get the nod.

funny you mention expansion. have been thinking about that of late. agree we do not need more teams but if i run the NRL, i add one, or i dissolve one and replace it. a pacific islanders team. 

rugby is treating the pacific islands like crap. it is a great opportunity for league. look at the massive percentage of aussie and kiwi and even northern teams with pacific islanders. league is slowly cottoning on and getting some players but it is a gold mine. i'd splash cash and set up a team and support it. can you imagine the crowds in tonga and fiji et al, when the broncs fly over to play the locals or the chooks or manly. kids would be on board instantly. 

loved the old mid week comp but these days, too disruptive for players and teams. under 20s yes. 

correct re the money. the problem with that is that they don't always get it right re the money. 

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1 hour ago, Ken Gargett said:

funny you mention expansion. have been thinking about that of late. agree we do not need more teams but if i run the NRL, i add one, or i dissolve one and replace it. a pacific islanders team. 

rugby is treating the pacific islands like crap. it is a great opportunity for league. look at the massive percentage of aussie and kiwi and even northern teams with pacific islanders. league is slowly cottoning on and getting some players but it is a gold mine. i'd splash cash and set up a team and support it. can you imagine the crowds in tonga and fiji et al, when the broncs fly over to play the locals or the chooks or manly. kids would be on board instantly. 

loved the old mid week comp but these days, too disruptive for players and teams. under 20s yes. 

correct re the money. the problem with that is that they don't always get it right re the money. 

Fully concur on the islanders team. They've recently raised the international comp to something of real interest, instead of just Aussie/Kiwi/Poms, same old same old. And, yep, they make up a big piece of the talent pool that is the NRL. I'd be fully behind that idea for expansion. But bugger off with your Adelaide or Perth teams, NRL. All that does is dilute the strongholds and the competition as a whole. 

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1 minute ago, MoeFOH said:

Fully concur on the islanders team. They've recently raised the international comp to something of real interest, instead of just Aussie/Kiwi/Poms, same old same old. And, yep, they make up a big piece of the talent pool that is the NRL. I'd be fully behind that idea for expansion. But bugger off with your Adelaide or Perth teams, NRL. All that does is dilute the strongholds and the competition as a whole. 

on this, we are agreed. 

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58 minutes ago, MoeFOH said:

Speak of the devil... 

https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/03/06/how-nrl-squad-rules-pave-way-for-second-brisbane-team/

I'd get behind this more than another team outside NSW & QLD, but I still much prefer the Islander concept. 

saw that. has been "increased traffic" on this recently. pops up every couple of years. been tried before. sure, we have the population and there should be at least one more team here but it is not that simple. officials all seem to think that the broncs will welcome a 2nd team. lord knows why because they have fought tooth and nail every time. why would they want something that might reduce their support base, their player base, merchandise etc. they will not make it easy. no matter what they say.

also, locals are either brizzy supporters or follow another team - perhaps to be contrarians, perhaps they came from down south, perhaps they just liked another team. but that does not mean all those will come across to the new team. nor will supporters just dump the broncs. so where does the support come from? very expensive exercise to maintain the team long enough for that support to build.

and the NRL is missing a massive opp with the pacific team, if they do not include them. agree on that. 

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