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marklaspalmas

Is 4th better than 5th?

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A top 8 playoff from 14 is too many. Hence the possibility of mediocre C*S/Crusaders teams making the playoffs.

Looking at how it pans out, Im wondering if in fact 5th is better than 4th? Now Im quite aware that 4th gets two bites, whilst 5th is on sudden death, but let's say for eg Hull get 4th and Leeds 5th and see how they go.

4th travels away to Wigan, receives a good hiding from the GF favourites & retreats.

5th plays at home to some dross team who just scraped into the playoffs and scores a handsome win.

Then 4th has to pick theselves up & take on 5th at home.

Now of course, being at home is an advantage, but the winning run & momentum counts for a lot in playoff rugby.

Just a thought, obviously.

Maybe Leeds wouldn't eactly be too heartbroken if Hull beat them the week after WEmbley??

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A top 8 playoff from 14 is too many. Hence the possibility of mediocre C*S/Crusaders teams making the playoffs.

Looking at how it pans out, Im wondering if in fact 5th is better than 4th? Now Im quite aware that 4th gets two bites, whilst 5th is on sudden death, but let's say for eg Hull get 4th and Leeds 5th and see how they go.

4th travels away to Wigan, receives a good hiding from the GF favourites & retreats.

5th plays at home to some dross team who just scraped into the playoffs and scores a handsome win.

Then 4th has to pick theselves up & take on 5th at home.

Now of course, being at home is an advantage, but the winning run & momentum counts for a lot in playoff rugby.

Just a thought, obviously.

Maybe Leeds wouldn't eactly be too heartbroken if Hull beat them the week after WEmbley??

it worked that way last year so certianly an argument..

but depends on how confident you are.. i would say leeds may be quite confident they would turn over wigan, they are 3 times champs and challenge cup finalists, its a one off game etc.. i cant see leeds thinking they are going to lose to anyone..

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With my flatcap firmly in place.

I think the play-off structure is a nonsense. If you want an end-of-season play-off to decide the champions, at least be realistic. Top 8? Give over! Why should 8th place be given a chance at all? And why should any team be given a second chance? Straight knock-out - first v fourth and second v third, followed by a final. We already have our international players knackered before going into the 4N or WC, why extend the season unnecessarily? Fifth to eighth don't have a chance anyway.

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With my flatcap firmly in place.

I think the play-off structure is a nonsense. If you want an end-of-season play-off to decide the champions, at least be realistic. Top 8? Give over! Why should 8th place be given a chance at all?

I think Brian Noble may have an answer to that. Probably not printable though. B)

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With my flatcap firmly in place.

I think the play-off structure is a nonsense. If you want an end-of-season play-off to decide the champions, at least be realistic. Top 8? Give over! Why should 8th place be given a chance at all? And why should any team be given a second chance? Straight knock-out - first v fourth and second v third, followed by a final. We already have our international players knackered before going into the 4N or WC, why extend the season unnecessarily? Fifth to eighth don't have a chance anyway.

Give over tony. With your playoff system there's minimal reward for finsihing high up the table. Playoffs are nothing new to RL in this country. It's not something Super League brought to the game. Maybe the way the playoffs work is different but we've had playoffs in some form or another for decades. I agree that any team finishing below half way down the table (at least) shouldn't be anywhere near a playoff place.

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The top 8 play off system is a joke.

To put it into perspective, the team currently in 8th has a 42% win ratio.

So in effect you can lose more often than you win and still have a chance, however slim, of being champions.

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I'd prefer a top 5 play-off.

1st place go straight to the GF whil 2nd play 5th and 3rd play 4th in a straight knock out.

The only possibe down side to this is that the team finshing top will have not played for 3 weeks by the time of the GF.

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I'd prefer a top 5 play-off.

1st place go straight to the GF whil 2nd play 5th and 3rd play 4th in a straight knock out.

The only possibe down side to this is that the team finshing top will have not played for 3 weeks by the time of the GF.

personally i would keep 6 in the play offs but would make it top 5 with the 6th team being the challenge cup winners (if in the top 5 then would be 6th place in the league).. then gives something else to play for with the challengec up for the middle table teams.. spicing it up a bit..

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4th has a massive advantage over 5th. If Leeds finish 4th and go to Wigan and win, then they go straight through to the major semis and have a week off. They will then get home advantage in that major playoff.

Massive difference between 4th and 5th.

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Yep 4th is clealrly better than 5th. That's why this system is not too bad actually. Eight teams might be too many but who cares. If the bottom couple really are that bad they won't last long. The top eight means more teams and more fans are involved in the action and there's more teams for TV etc. Does it really matter? If you're going to start worrying about where to draw the line based on theoretical nonsense you won't be able to escape the fact that anything other than first past the post is unfair or whatever.

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Why should 8th place be given a chance at all?

More games so more revenue from TV rights, endorsements and attendances etc.

Also in there to try and prevent the same teams winning the comp each year by adding one more that they could fluff up ie. a quarter-final.

Can see where the logic is. I'd say there are more pros than cons, to be honest.

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I'll answer a couple of points.

Firstly, the old-style play-offs were there because not every team played every other during the course of the season. Because of this 'lop-sided' system, it was possible, though unlikely TBH, for the top team to have played the weakest teams twice and the second team to have played the strongest teams twice. The play-off system compensated for this possible imbalance.

Secondly, the extra games means extra revenue argument is fine. So, let's play 52 weeks of the year and really burn our players out :ph34r: . We often hear about the players playing too many games when it comes to the regular "What's the excuse for losing to the Aussies this time?" competition. I'd say an extra week of play-offs immediately before we play them is just what we don't need.

Of course, this is just my view and should not be taken too seriously ;) .

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Two points.

1. The current system only looks flawed because the team in 8th isnt that hot (whoever it is in the end), but by that token they wont get anywhere.

However what if the team in 7th/8th was only a handful of points away from the top 4, having been extremely competative and only lost games by a score or two due to poor luck or contentious reffing decisions? Would it then be so flawed?

2. People are viewing the playoffs entirely in the wrong way, now this is due to Sky pushing it in the wrong way but the race for the league leaders trophy is like the qualification rounds for something like the World Cup Finals (soccer wise)

Through the regular season the competition is to get into the finals, the finals then decide who is champion and the playoff scheme weights the rankings accordingly, like a seeding process in pretty much every other competion in the world.

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Two points.

1. The current system only looks flawed because the team in 8th isnt that hot (whoever it is in the end), but by that token they wont get anywhere.

However what if the team in 7th/8th was only a handful of points away from the top 4, having been extremely competative and only lost games by a score or two due to poor luck or contentious reffing decisions? Would it then be so flawed?

Catalans Dragons were woeful last season, and ended up in 8th place, 9 points off the top 4.

However, they ended up losing to Leeds by 7 points, in a game that would have got them to the GF.

I honestly think it's crazy that you can have a team that loses more games than it wins, and could still get that close to being crowned SL Champions.

Top 8 is way too many.

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I dont know about you but I thought it was great to see, and ultimately, the didnt get to the final.

And the fact that they did was as much to do with how bad Huddersfield's shape was at the end of what was otherwise a great season for them

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I honestly think it's crazy that you can have a team that loses more games than it wins, and could still get that close to being crowned SL Champions.

Top 8 is way too many.

That's my point exactly, as I said Crusaders/Cas have a 42% win ratio yet one of them will get a shot at winning the competition. Nobody will ever convince me that that is an acceptable scenario.

FWIW, I think in a 14 team competition it should be a top 6 play off.

Week 1

1st and 2nd get a week off

A 3rd v 6th

B 4th v 5th

Week 2

C 1st v 2nd - winner to GF

D Winner A v Winner B

Week 3

E Loser C v Winner D

Week 4 Grand Final

Winner C v Winner E

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I didn't see anything wrong with the old top 6 play-off. With a top 8 you've got a team from the bottom half of the table who could win the competition. It'll probably never happen, but it would make it all look a bit farcical.

I thought the top 8 was introduced so that more teams in the bottom half of the table had something to play for. Other than professional pride and new contracts that is.

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I thought both the top 5 and the current top 6 system (in our league) work quite well. Top 8 just seems too many. I understand about the extra games/extra revenue idea, but outside of the GF the playoffs are actually badly undermarketed anyway, and having weak teams in it devalues the achievement and rewards mediocrity.

I take the points about 4th v 5th, though to say the difference is massive is an absurd exaggeration.

Let's see what happens. I'd suggest Leeds may well be an atypical 4th placed side, given their playoff pedigree. Look what happened last year to 4th placed Hull KR.

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I am perfectly happy with what we have, and that's because i recognise it for what it is, A end of season knockout comp for TV, raising money, and a show piece final for rugby league, For me it doesn't really matter all that much who wins it, I just want to see some great games ( hopefully ) As far as I'm concerned Wigan are this years champions, the playoffs are a separate thing altogether, I dont say everyone sees it that way but i do.

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I take the points about 4th v 5th, though to say the difference is massive is an absurd exaggeration.

Not absurd in the slightest. Let's put a couple of scenarios together.

Leeds finish 4th - they win at Wigan, they get through to the major semi at home. 1 game from the final at home. Brilliant.

Leeds finish 5th, they beat Crusaders (8th) at home. They then have to play Warrington or Hull away, and then Wigan or Saints away.

You honestly think that there isn't a massive difference in those scenarios?

There is also the fact that if they lose their first game from 5th they are out, whereas 4th will always get a second chance.

The difference is absolutely massive, probably the biggest difference in the playoffs, and it surprised me you actually picked these two places as your example, as there are much better examples to show flaws in the system.

By the way - I don't disagree that the top 5 or 5 playoff system may have been better, just focussing on this on point.

Edited by Dave T

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Not absurd in the slightest. Let's put a couple of scenarios together.

Leeds finish 4th - they win at Wigan, they get through to the major semi at home. 1 game from the final at home. Brilliant.

Leeds finish 5th, they beat Crusaders (8th) at home. They then have to play Warrington or Hull away, and then Wigan or Saints away.

You honestly think that there isn't a massive difference in those scenarios?

There is also the fact that if they lose their first game from 5th they are out, whereas 4th will always get a second chance.

The difference is absolutely massive, probably the biggest difference in the playoffs, and it surprised me you actually picked these two places as your example, as there are much better examples to show flaws in the system.

Jeez calm down. Its plausible, but it's not likely to happen. Much more likely is the scenario Ive outlined at the start, or indeed what actually happened in 2009. The difference is patently not "absolutely massive" at all. 4th, 5th place. There shouldn't be much in it anyway. I was just speculating about whether they'd actually got the fine balance quite right. There are plenty of possible scenarios under which 5th could work out quite a bit better than 4th.

Happy to listen to your views on these other flaws.

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Jeez calm down. Its plausible, but it's not likely to happen. Much more likely is the scenario Ive outlined at the start, or indeed what actually happened in 2009. The difference is patently not "absolutely massive" at all. 4th, 5th place. There shouldn't be much in it anyway. I was just speculating about whether they'd actually got the fine balance quite right. There are plenty of possible scenarios under which 5th could work out quite a bit better than 4th.

Happy to listen to your views on these other flaws.

Not sure why you think I need to calm down, my post was perfectly reasonable and I thought well structured.

My point wasn't unlikely to happen at all. Your scenario was much more unlikely. Last season we had a freak season in that (and whatever offence this causes) certain teams over-performed and many under-performed. Leeds will possibly take 4th this year, and will be very good from there.

There are no situations whatsoever that a 5th placed finish ould be more beneficial than 4th. Results could well mean that 5th could do better than 4th, but they will have had to do it in more difficult circumstances than 4th, without question. I'm really a bit baffled as to why you think any situation could make 5th better than 4th. It is impossible no matter what situation you put together. Impossible.

Edited by Dave T

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Aussie top 8 works because there are more teams and the difference between 1st - 8th is relatively small, look at the current league tables in terms of points:

Aus (1st - 8th) 34-32-32-30-28-28-28-26 - 8 points between 1st and 8th

GB 42-38-38-33-32-31-29-22 - 20 point diff

Top 5 works in GB but we have to artificially keep the lower teams involved to pander to Sky and because there is no relegation to increase interest lower down.

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Not sure why you think I need to calm down, my post was perfectly reasonable and I thought well structured.

My point wasn't unlikely to happen at all. Your scenario was much more unlikely. Last season we had a freak season in that (and whatever offence this causes) certain teams over-performed and many under-performed. Leeds will possibly take 4th this year, and will be very good from there.

There are no situations whatsoever that a 5th placed finish ould be more beneficial than 4th. Results could well mean that 5th could do better than 4th, but they will have had to do it in more difficult circumstances than 4th, without question. I'm really a bit baffled as to why you think any situation could make 5th better than 4th. It is impossible no matter what situation you put together. Impossible.

Eh? You think it's more likely that 4th would win at 1st in the first round of playoffs, than the much more likely scenario of 1st hammers 4th who then have to play 5th coming off a healthy win themselves.

That's all Im saying. No names, no pack drill. If you can't see that simple point, Im sorry.

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Eh? You think it's more likely that 4th would win at 1st in the first round of playoffs, than the much more likely scenario of 1st hammers 4th who then have to play 5th coming off a healthy win themselves.

That's all Im saying. No names, no pack drill. If you can't see that simple point, Im sorry.

Yep, sorry I got a bit confused with my response about the original post, but I still stand by the fact that 4th is a much, much better position to finish that 5th.

By finishing 4th, you have the chance to put in a good performance and play at home in the major semi.

By finishing 5th, this is impossible.

Take away the first week issue, and the overall three week playoff is heavily seeded in favour of 4th over 5th.

I also think that if you are 4th and take a hiding and collapse at the 1st placed team then you either man up and come back stronger, or you didn't really deserve to be through anyway.

If you finish 5th, the chances are you will need to win two games to even get a chance to play 1st.

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