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Rugby League World - Grand Finals Issue

RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD - THE GRAND FINALS ISSUE - OUT 17 OCT OR DOWNLOAD IT NOW!
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The Grand Finals Issue (out 17 Oct) – Grand Final drama from both hemispheres plus Four Nations preview
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#1 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 07:15 PM

Super League to 12 teams.
Championship to 10 teams.
P&R between Super League and Championship.
Licensing between Championship and lower leagues.

1st-4th in SL and NRL in 8-team (2 groups of 4) World Club Cup.
5th-8th in SL and NRL in 8-team (2 groups of 4) Intercontinental Cup.
9th-12th in SL have to enter 20-team (4 groups of 5) Challenge Cup group stages.

WCC and ICC involve two groups of four. 3 games then top of each group in the final. Alternative host nations for each tournament (1 years WCC in UK, ICC in Aus. Then swap).
Tournaments played in four weeks in February.
8 Super League teams involved automatically qualify for last 16 of Challenge Cup.

Challenge Cup group stages also take place in four weeks in February.
Four groups of five (play all in group once, so two home two away each).
Top two from each group qualify for last 16.
4 SL teams automatically qualify for group stages. 10 Championship clubs have to qualify in Qualifying Round 3. Lower league and amateur clubs entering at Qualifying Rounds 2 and 1.
Teams that lose QR3 for the CC enter the Northern Rail Cup group stages instead.

Challenge Cup "Round of 16" to replace Magic Weekend, with QF draw made the same day at the venue.
Quarter Finals played at same venue in one day, with SF draw made on the same day.
Semi Finals a double header at same venue in one day.
Final at Wembley as usual. (This makes all Cup games neutral).

Super League down to 22 games. Championship to 18 games.
Two international weekends left open in the season.
Championship season finishes five weeks earlier than Super League, giving the promoted club more time to recruit for new season.



Positives:
Stronger teams in SL, with less games, making it more intense.
More games against the Aussies (again, increase in intensity), as well as improved media profile.
All teams in SL still have 13 home games apart from teams playing Down Under (but can be compensated in some way from gate receipts from the tournament).
Two internationals.
P&R to keep traditionalists happy, but licensing to make 2nd tier strong as possible. More funds would need to be directed to the 2nd tier also to make it more stable (which could be achieved as there are 2 less teams in SL, so divert their money).
New life to Challenge Cup.
More stable lower leagues.



Would love to see an extended WCC, and even our own "Europa Cup" type competition. Yes, we may get stuffed in some of them, but one team could easily be good enough to win them. It would be an easier way to increase the number of intense games our clubs play (because it's taing ages to increase the number of top players at each club!).

Makes more sense than going to conferences and diluting the little talent we have already. Less teams = better concentration of players = more intensity.

Increasing funding to the Championship, as well licensing, will ensure that there are better teams in the Championship that are more capable of entering the SL, otherwise they are in danger of not only not being able to enter SL, but also the Championship as well. Having the GF earlier will allow them more time to put together a better team (worked well for Widnes in 2001 when they were promoted 2 months before the SL GF, and managed to finish 6th the next year).

Having the Challenge Cup in groups gives more inter-division games, which will hopefully improve the recognition of some lower league clubs, give them bigger games to look forward to and chances of big crowds. Also guarantees that everyone gets a certain amount of home games.
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#2 jannerboyuk

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 07:57 PM

QUOTE (Wellsy4HullFC @ Aug 7 2010, 08:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
WCC and ICC involve two groups of four. 3 games then top of each group in the final. Alternative host nations for each tournament (1 years WCC in UK, ICC in Aus. Then swap).
Tournaments played in four weeks in February.
8 Super League teams involved automatically qualify for last 16 of Challenge Cup.


Watching the game today (split shifts sometimes useful!) something that struck me was that although the game was very enjoyable, especially the last half hour, the players were very familiar to each other. Although the idea of the extended world club challenge is problematic i would be happy for a reduced superleague season to make the room for it. It would give a very welcome extra dimension to the club game. I would roughly speaking favour top four versus top four, with the ladder leaders getting an advantage but not automaticaly in a final.
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