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Re: 2019 Season - Super 8's scrapped
Post Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:49 am
Posted by jaws1 on Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:49 am
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TonyM19 wrote:
As a general rule, if Hetherington disagrees with something its usually a good thing :)



Taken from other site
What some folk don’t realise is that those leaders with Elstone are the biggest investors in the sport. Hetherington takes a wage and spends investor cash.
Re: 2019 Season - Super 8's scrapped
Post Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:09 pm
Posted by DaveO on Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:09 pm
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Mash Butty wrote:
Did anyone else prefer the old league & CC structure with the premiership final at Old Trafford? I was stupidly thinking if the incentive of a premiership final win was to compete in the world club final it might work. Maybe I'm just being old fashioned.


I prefer that. I do not think the playoff system has delivered on the promise of improving standards by way of a more intense competition. Sure the actual playoff games themselves are intense but there are only three of those. The rest of the season is treated as a precursor to the playoffs and you can get into them losing 13 games (as happened last season). The playoffs reward mediocrity and in my view the standard has gone down not up since we changed system. Contrast that to football in the Premier League where you would be thought of as insane if you suggested a team having lost about 3 times as many games during the regular season as the team at the top should be given another chance to win it. No one seems worried that by about half way the title race is down to about six teams and as the season goes on fewer and fewer teams can win it. Instead of being concerned some team who has lost a shed load of games is out of the running and devising ways to prevent teams who dominate like Man City did last season doing so, City get praised for their football and it's accepted everyone else has to work out ways to stop them next season. In RL many seem to have convinced themselves a team winning it after a poor season demonstrates something positive when in reality all it is is a fluke and gives the impression of a stronger competition when there really isn't one.
Last league derby at Central Park 5/9/1999: Wigan 28 St. Helens 20
Last league derby at Knowsley Road 2/4/2010: St. Helens 10 Wigan 18
Re: 2019 Season - Super 8's scrapped
Post Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:40 pm
Posted by MelbourneWarrior on Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:40 pm
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Compared to Australia there are far too many games. Ideally, there would be 22 to 26 rounds of league games. The semi-finals in the current format don’t last long enough. In Australia, in both AFL and the NRL, the month of September is the highlight of the year in sporting terms. The GF’s are the cherry on top of an intense month of games and talk off the field too.

If we increase the semi-final series to last 4 weeks, with something like a top 5 or 6 system this would build momentum. The issue then is how to keep the lower teams involved. Parramatta are bottom of the table and their season is over. North Queensland have to win something like 10 of their last 11 games to make the play-offs. There needs to be a reason to play the games played between the bottom teams towards the end of the season.

My idea would be to have a mini-league between 10 and 11 in the SL and 2 and 3 in the Championship. Top two in the mini-league play Super League the next season. The kicker is the results from the games between the team involved in their respective leagues are included. So at the start of the mini-league each team has four games on the board. They then play 4 games to decide. This means they play the two teams they haven’t played home and away. The carryover games mean every game does matter in the SL. If you get flogged in June it could bite you in September if it was against a team that ends up in the mini-league. It would hopefully avoid mid and bottom of the table dead rubbers as they say. The Champions of the Championship are automatically promoted at the expense of the bottom SL team. That way hopefully, the top eight or so teams are battling for the play-offs to get to the GF and the bottom 4 or so teams are battling to avoid relegation and their play offs. In the Championship the 4 or 5 are battling for the mini-league places. This way if someone does run away with the title or is cast adrift at the bottom the teams around them still have something to play for. Also, the teams coming up will have earned their place.

If the CC is moved to the first weekend in May it will avoid the football finals and can still be on a long weekend. We could start in January and have five rounds with the top teams involved coming in at the last 32, not 16 as they do at the moment, and play one round every 4 weeks. The amateur teams might have to cram more in at the start of their season, but it should be do able.
Re: 2019 Season - Super 8's scrapped
Post Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:08 pm
Posted by wiganermike on Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:08 pm
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DaveO wrote:
I prefer that. I do not think the playoff system has delivered on the promise of improving standards by way of a more intense competition. Sure the actual playoff games themselves are intense but there are only three of those. The rest of the season is treated as a precursor to the playoffs and you can get into them losing 13 games (as happened last season). The playoffs reward mediocrity and in my view the standard has gone down not up since we changed system. Contrast that to football in the Premier League where you would be thought of as insane if you suggested a team having lost about 3 times as many games during the regular season as the team at the top should be given another chance to win it. No one seems worried that by about half way the title race is down to about six teams and as the season goes on fewer and fewer teams can win it. Instead of being concerned some team who has lost a shed load of games is out of the running and devising ways to prevent teams who dominate like Man City did last season doing so, City get praised for their football and it's accepted everyone else has to work out ways to stop them next season. In RL many seem to have convinced themselves a team winning it after a poor season demonstrates something positive when in reality all it is is a fluke and gives the impression of a stronger competition when there really isn't one.



The only issue for me with playoffs to decide who the champions are is that with an even fixture list as we have (one extra fixture at Magic Weekend doesn't affect the table greatly enough) they are unnecessary as with every club under the same fixture schedule the team at the top is clearly the best and should be champions. If you have a league where everyone doesn't play everyone else the same number of times, such as they have in the NRL or as we did have when teams played everyone twice plus 5 teams a third time then you need to use playoffs to redress the balance as an easier or harder set of "extra" fixtures can affect where teams finish on the ladder. So with our current even fixture list system then top of the table should be the champions (though we all know the cash cow that is the GF is here to stay). With the end of the 8s in sight then we could perhaps see a return of the old 27 fixture format (with teams playing 5 teams a 3rd time) this would more justifiably need a playoff structure.

However the same issue with uneven fixture lists affects the foot of the table too so if we have playoffs between the top 4 to decide the title then we should also have playoffs at the bottom to decide who goes down (9th v 12th and 10th v 11th, the winners stay up, losing teams then play each other with loser of that game going down). A ridiculous situation I know and I am not seriously suggesting it.

IMHO you do not need playoffs to decide the champions without a truly uneven fixture list that causes disparity in difficulty of fixtures, but you cannot have such an uneven fixture schedule in a league with relegation (unless you have a ridiculous relegation playoff too). If having P&R, as we are going to, then the fixtures should be the same for all so as not to potentially affect the finishing positions of clubs that could then finish bottom and be relegated due to varying difficulty of fixtures from club to club. So we would then not need to have playoffs to decide who the champions are as there would be no imbalance in fixtures to redress. However there is no chance that the GF will be scrapped despite how unnecessary it is as a method of determining the destiny of the championship.
Re: 2019 Season - Super 8's scrapped
Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:11 am
Posted by DaveO on Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:11 am
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wiganermike wrote:
The only issue for me with playoffs to decide who the champions are is that with an even fixture list as we have (one extra fixture at Magic Weekend doesn't affect the table greatly enough) they are unnecessary as with every club under the same fixture schedule the team at the top is clearly the best and should be champions. If you have a league where everyone doesn't play everyone else the same number of times, such as they have in the NRL or as we did have when teams played everyone twice plus 5 teams a third time then you need to use playoffs to redress the balance as an easier or harder set of "extra" fixtures can affect where teams finish on the ladder. So with our current even fixture list system then top of the table should be the champions (though we all know the cash cow that is the GF is here to stay). With the end of the 8s in sight then we could perhaps see a return of the old 27 fixture format (with teams playing 5 teams a 3rd time) this would more justifiably need a playoff structure.

However the same issue with uneven fixture lists affects the foot of the table too so if we have playoffs between the top 4 to decide the title then we should also have playoffs at the bottom to decide who goes down (9th v 12th and 10th v 11th, the winners stay up, losing teams then play each other with loser of that game going down). A ridiculous situation I know and I am not seriously suggesting it.

IMHO you do not need playoffs to decide the champions without a truly uneven fixture list that causes disparity in difficulty of fixtures, but you cannot have such an uneven fixture schedule in a league with relegation (unless you have a ridiculous relegation playoff too). If having P&R, as we are going to, then the fixtures should be the same for all so as not to potentially affect the finishing positions of clubs that could then finish bottom and be relegated due to varying difficulty of fixtures from club to club. So we would then not need to have playoffs to decide who the champions are as there would be no imbalance in fixtures to redress. However there is no chance that the GF will be scrapped despite how unnecessary it is as a method of determining the destiny of the championship.


I think you are spot on there. The point about there being a need for a relegation playoff with an uneven fixture list is a good one. Even then you could end up with the bottom team well adrift despite an easier fixture list and yet they escape by managing to win two games at the end of the season. As you say it will never happen and one reason it won't is the stated objection that with the S8's the four teams in the qualifiers all face the uncertainty of relegation and a relegation playoff just replicates that.

The problem is we have imported the Aussie concept of a playoff system to decide the champions but are wedded to P&R. If we can't bite the bullet and make SL a closed shop as is the NRL so we can have an uneven fixture list delivering sufficient rounds (I don't think SL wil think 23 is enough) then there is no place for a playoff system.

I think the problem is the SL chairmen can't (yet?) bring themselves to admit they really want a closed shop. Their aversion to the qualifiers is based on the fact that relegation threatens four teams not because of the sporting ignominy of failure relegation represents but because it is a financial disaster. One team going down but with criteria placed on the team potentially coming up could be a closed shop in all bar name. That said, we have had this before and it was not popular as it made it possible for a monumentally poor team to survive only for a far better team in a future season to be relegated.
Last league derby at Central Park 5/9/1999: Wigan 28 St. Helens 20
Last league derby at Knowsley Road 2/4/2010: St. Helens 10 Wigan 18
Re: 2019 Season - Super 8's scrapped
Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:30 am
Posted by DaveO on Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:30 am
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MelbourneWarrior wrote:
If we increase the semi-final series to last 4 weeks, with something like a top 5 or 6 system this would build momentum. The issue then is how to keep the lower teams involved. Parramatta are bottom of the table and their season is over. North Queensland have to win something like 10 of their last 11 games to make the play-offs. There needs to be a reason to play the games played between the bottom teams towards the end of the season.


The more teams you have able to qualify for the playoffs the more the regular season rounds are seen as not mattering much as it doesn't take much to qualify. Instead of having teams at the bottom with nothing to play for the more you have in the playoffs the sooner teams qualify and then you even get the fans not wanting the coaches to play their best sides in the remaining rounds in case of injury. As soon as your team qualifies you may as well not bother going until the playoffs start.

If we have to have a playoff I'd revert to the top 5 because that is the only one that combines a playoff system with the encouragement to finish higher in the league. When we had the top 8 playoffs because of the stupid way it was organised the best place to finish was 5th! You got to play the bottom team at home in the first round while the top team was playing 4th (and of course 4th got "rewarded" by finishing higher than 5th by an away trip to the top team, pure idiocy).

As to teams having nothing to play for or facing an impossible task to qualify, so what? I just do not see how it possible to solve that problem without creating one at the other end of the table such as I described above where once you qualify teams start resting players and/or the games are seen as equally pointless.

This notion we have to do something to keep teams at the bottom interested seems a pretty modern invention to me. The concept of wanting to win a game of RL for its own sake and put one over on your rivals despite your team being out of the running for a trophy this season seems to have vanished. Far better to accept the fact that no system can prevent teams being out of the running at some stage and revert to those finishing top being crowned as champions. The fact by about half way through the season half the teams will be out of the running should not be an issue. They could still affect the destination of the trophy and this idea we have to give them something to play for is like the idea everyone has to be a winner at school sports day.
Last league derby at Central Park 5/9/1999: Wigan 28 St. Helens 20
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Re: 2019 Season - Super 8's scrapped
Post Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:39 am
Posted by Mash Butty on Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:39 am
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I'm agreeing with most of what you are all saying and I feel the momentum of the rivalry and the stakes carried over from the pre summer rugby era has well and truly evaporated. The current structure is like a spread bet, a hybrid system that doesn't know what it wants to be and something that viewers cannot identify with.
Re: 2019 Season - Super 8's scrapped
Post Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:48 am
Posted by MelbourneWarrior on Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:48 am
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DaveO wrote:
The more teams you have able to qualify for the playoffs the more the regular season rounds are seen as not mattering much as it doesn't take much to qualify. Instead of having teams at the bottom with nothing to play for the more you have in the playoffs the sooner teams qualify and then you even get the fans not wanting the coaches to play their best sides in the remaining rounds in case of injury. As soon as your team qualifies you may as well not bother going until the playoffs start.

If we have to have a playoff I'd revert to the top 5 because that is the only one that combines a playoff system with the encouragement to finish higher in the league. When we had the top 8 playoffs because of the stupid way it was organised the best place to finish was 5th! You got to play the bottom team at home in the first round while the top team was playing 4th (and of course 4th got "rewarded" by finishing higher than 5th by an away trip to the top team, pure idiocy).

As to teams having nothing to play for or facing an impossible task to qualify, so what? I just do not see how it possible to solve that problem without creating one at the other end of the table such as I described above where once you qualify teams start resting players and/or the games are seen as equally pointless.

This notion we have to do something to keep teams at the bottom interested seems a pretty modern invention to me. The concept of wanting to win a game of RL for its own sake and put one over on your rivals despite your team being out of the running for a trophy this season seems to have vanished. Far better to accept the fact that no system can prevent teams being out of the running at some stage and revert to those finishing top being crowned as champions. The fact by about half way through the season half the teams will be out of the running should not be an issue. They could still affect the destination of the trophy and this idea we have to give them something to play for is like the idea everyone has to be a winner at school sports day.


I’d be happy with a top 5. It takes us back to 4 weeks of finals and a great build up to the GF. It also reasonably exclusive and doesn’t contain half the league.

I disagree with you about the battle at the other end being about everyone has to be a winner. The issue at the other end and keeping fixtures meaningful isn’t just about the players. Fans too need a reason to turn up. If your season is over many fans drop off. That is their choice of course but it affects revenue and atmosphere at games.

I believe if you keep more teams involved in some way, whether that is playing for the title or survival, there is more intensity in the games and therefore more reason for fans to turn up. Didn’t that used to be the joy of the CC? Especially when the lower league was closer in standard to the top flight. Just look at the Championship and League 1 in football, even games at the bottom end get good crowds at the end of the season because the team have something to play for. Surely getting attendances up has to be a priority. Using Australia as an example Parramatta got 25,000 for their first home game of the season, they are now down to 8,000 with nothing to play for. Admittedly The Cowboys have maintained their crowds even though they are down at the bottom, but they do still have a hope of making the finals.

So not every team has to be involved in winning the title. It would be criminal if a team won from 8th in a 12 team competition. If we do even up the number of games played and therefore the final table is a true reflection of everyone performance we should reward the tap toppers more than we do currently. Call them league champions and give out more prize money. We can still have the GF to decide the champions.
Re: 2019 Season - Super 8's scrapped
Post Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:26 am
Posted by Levrier on Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:26 am
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It is all very well to give preferences but can anyone tell me 1) How many games are we contractually obliged to provide for Sky? and 2). How many games do we realistically need for a reasonably well run club to break even?
Aussie clubs play fewer games but are cash rich and we need to make up the shortfall by playing more games. 22 rounds then a play off will always benefit richer clubs.
Re: 2019 Season - Super 8's scrapped
Post Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:49 am
Posted by DaveO on Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:49 am
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MelbourneWarrior wrote:
I’d be happy with a top 5. It takes us back to 4 weeks of finals and a great build up to the GF. It also reasonably exclusive and doesn’t contain half the league.

I disagree with you about the battle at the other end being about everyone has to be a winner. The issue at the other end and keeping fixtures meaningful isn’t just about the players. Fans too need a reason to turn up. If your season is over many fans drop off. That is their choice of course but it affects revenue and atmosphere at games.

I believe if you keep more teams involved in some way, whether that is playing for the title or survival, there is more intensity in the games and therefore more reason for fans to turn up. Didn’t that used to be the joy of the CC? Especially when the lower league was closer in standard to the top flight. Just look at the Championship and League 1 in football, even games at the bottom end get good crowds at the end of the season because the team have something to play for. Surely getting attendances up has to be a priority. Using Australia as an example Parramatta got 25,000 for their first home game of the season, they are now down to 8,000 with nothing to play for. Admittedly The Cowboys have maintained their crowds even though they are down at the bottom, but they do still have a hope of making the finals.

So not every team has to be involved in winning the title. It would be criminal if a team won from 8th in a 12 team competition. If we do even up the number of games played and therefore the final table is a true reflection of everyone performance we should reward the tap toppers more than we do currently. Call them league champions and give out more prize money. We can still have the GF to decide the champions.


The irony is what we had before solved the problem to a large extent. We had the Premiership playoffs which involved the top 6. They key difference was the emphasis was that the league leaders were champions. So while teama drop out of contention for being champions as the season progresses in a 12 team league the premiership ought to be enough to do as much as possible to keep teams interested. It seems perfectly logical to me if you drop out of contention for the main prize while you are still in contention to get into the premiership playoffs it is viewed as a lesser competition but still worth doing. When they went to the GF as deciding the champions they fixed something that was not broken and since then we have changed the format multiple times and still can't decide what is right.

Relegation keeps interest at the very bottom but that is a whole other issue due to the viability of P&R between such disparate leagues. It's no use saying clubs can still pay to the full salary cap (which they can now) in the lower league, the crowds are paltry and the financial side of relegation is disastrous.

The other thing is fans are not thick. Trying to come up with artificial constructs to add meaning to games where there is none are soon called out.
Last league derby at Central Park 5/9/1999: Wigan 28 St. Helens 20
Last league derby at Knowsley Road 2/4/2010: St. Helens 10 Wigan 18
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