Call us jaundiced. Call us skeptics – The NRL proposal to introduce an extra round to finals for the 2020 season seems a little over the top.
The concept is to have the teams that finish seventh to 10th on the ladder compete against each other for two more spots in the finals.
There are only 16 teams in the competition. If the system does come to fruition, think of the rort that will arise when the club that finishes eighth discovers that it has to win a preliminary in order to get into finals proper.
Going off the finishing order from the 2018 ladder, the Canberra Raiders would have had the opportunity to play Wests, New Zealand, or St. George. Of those three, only the Dragons had a winning record.
The very thought of a club with 10 wins against 14 losses being granted a second chance simply screams of a league trying to boost revenues by adding extra finals games to the season.
How long before the NRL decides to simply wipe the slate at the end of the home-and-away fixture and let all 16 clubs play finals?
That would boost the self-esteem, or more accurately, the egos of some players and clubs, but at what cost?
It would seem to us that the NRL should be looking for a way to replicate last year, when the top four put up identical win – loss records and were tied on points, too.
The second four did much the same, the exceptions being one less win and two fewer premiership points.
The goal of reducing dead rubbers is laudable, but regardless of how things are set up, there are always going to be games at the end of the fixture that have no impact on the finals.
The top six clubs would benefit from a bye week before their first final.
The proposal would see the team finishing eighth play the team that finished ninth, while the team that finished seventh would play the team that finished 10th.
Loat season, that would have produced a finals game between the Dragons and the Raiders, which would have held interest only for St. George and Canberra supporters, and not all of those.