it isn't an extreme example is it. Nor really is it stupid. Hull fc are 2 points ahead of Wakefield, Widnes are 3. We still aren't even half way through the season. If Hull or Widnes lose their next three games I can well see them doing the same thing.
As for it being stupid. Is it really? If I was in Wakefield's position I would do exactly the same.
Why are we throwing Hull kr and Salford in? Those two are hardly scrimping on money and are currently 3rd and 4th in the league. You might as well be asking why leeds are still bothering.
This is a clear and obvious downfall in the system. Something that you said wouldn't happen. It is now happening and you are trying find a different scapegoat.
The fact is that this system prioritises not being relegated. We are 9 weeks in and it would take a huge turnaround already for Wakefield squeeze in to the top 8. It would take a crazy unprecedented turnaround for them to qualify for the top 4 so they are back at the choice of busting a gut and risking it all to qualify for a competition they are pretty much certain not to win, or playing it safe and focusing on not being relegated. They are taking the sensible option and it's a decision club 11 will need to make in a couple of weeks, and club 10 a couple of weeks after that.
This is a failing of the system. It doesn't mean the system is failing. Like any system. This one will be what we make of it. But it is a failure of the system, the game needs to accept it and work around it. Pretending it isn't going to solve it
Totally agree the same is happening in the championship as we speak. Teams are targeting games and just hoping to get through the other games without any injuries. Its slowly unraveling out a poor system.