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Anyone still think the Super 8s are a dumb idea?

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I don't want to start a new debate about the SC or the Super  8's but in an article in the Grauniad  Gavin Willacy makes the point that because the structure has been so exciting and anything could happen the salary cap is working. I'm not sure that the evidence necessarily leads to that conclusion ..... but here's the link,

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/no-helmets-required/2017/sep/19/super-league-super-8s-hull-st-helens-wigan-wakefield

Here's a health warning though he's very enthusiastic and effusive so those of you who rely on large doses of pessimism to get you through the day might need to take your tablets and have a lie down before attempting to read it!;)

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5 minutes ago, Charlie RL said:

An excellent read.  The Guardian gives relatively good RL coverage.  

It is a good read. I'm not sure the conclusion is as logical as he makes out.

And I highlighted relatively because in a class of slower learners even I might look like a success but I suspect they'd leave me lagging behind if they put their minds to it as well!

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I do. 

An exciting end to a season can happen in any structure if all the stars align.

We had Huddersfield topping the league not that long ago in 2013 with nearly every team was in with a shout of the top 8 that year.

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I agree it been exciting this year, I think the qualifiers have been great each year but the SL Super 8s have been exciting for the first time, but I'd still rather see less games being played, just have a 22 game regular season with a top 5 playoff 

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10 minutes ago, West Leeds Riviera said:

I agree it been exciting this year, I think the qualifiers have been great each year but the SL Super 8s have been exciting for the first time, but I'd still rather see less games being played, just have a 22 game regular season with a top 5 playoff 

Agree. 22-26 rounds then a play off. Too many games too little quality. 

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Cas have nothing to play for for weeks until the playoffs start, Leeds also. 

The year were 4 clubs could finish top on the last day was good.

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I still think its dumb..

Had we gone straight into the play offs,top 6, Salford and Wakefield would have made it...and aside from giving clubs 3-4 extra home games to milk fans it also serves as a safety net for the bigger clubs with deeper squads to make a super 8 push..like Wigan have this season...it's like we keep playing till someone wins! No let's not keep playing! Go have a really good off season and come back next year stronger,fitter,better...

Did Huddersfield really need to play the last 7 weeks?? No did they heck! It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Wigan have another injury crisis next season cos they are training & playing busted!

 

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I feel in some ways the concept is up against it. Firstly the playoffs have always been a seperate finale with knockout fixtures - surprisingly disappointingly attended - but that problem was with incorporating season tickets not with the popularity of them. The top super 8s continues the points from the season so feels like a hyper extension.

Also the standard has gone down due to - I believe - the lack of reserve grades thus not allowing players to regularly practice the sides structures and culture. Also the financial dominance of the nrl stripping the league of the best talent, and in some cases average talent. And finally the lack in quality has a correlation with the replacement of Rhino over Steeden for the balls. Knock ons are not entertaining to watch.

 

So given those factors whilst an element is the perception of the hyper extension of the season feeling a bit forced, the other factors would still be the case regardless.

 

Edited by BenGilesRL

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11 minutes ago, roughyedspud said:

I still think its dumb..

 

Unequivocal , can't fault that.  

It has dragged in the Cas and Leeds context not really playing for much.  3 and 4th is exciting.  No easy answers.

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In one way, it's worked pretty well and delivered some exciting games and scenarios.

And yet....I aren't interested? All the focus has shifted to who's the best also ran.

Also as has been mentioned, players who may be in a WC will be preparing by playing part time players? I don't care how exciting these club games might be, this is detrimental to the national side.

So while I was wrong to completely dismiss it, i still think it's a poor system. That said, there's too much change as it  is so....

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I would echo what has been said on here about the salary cap working brilliantly during the regular season to provide new faces at the top in Cas, Salford and Wakefield.

I think the Super 8s unfortunately does serve only to spoil that and gives too much advantage to the clubs who can afford the bigger squads.

Lets face it, a Cas-Salford Grand Final might have done wonders for the game in Greater Manchester.

As it was I took my interest in the relegation battle in the Championship and got down to see Swinton a couple of times and have swerved my local Super League teams entirely.

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1 hour ago, West Leeds Riviera said:

I agree it been exciting this year, I think the qualifiers have been great each year but the SL Super 8s have been exciting for the first time, but I'd still rather see less games being played, just have a 22 game regular season with a top 5 playoff 

I think the top 8 has been exciting each year. Whilst there hasn't been a team surging into the Top 4, the movement within the Top 4 has been very interesting, and by removing the bottom 4 from this part of the season you get more '4 pointers'.

Both years have had great battles for the LLS, and while this year doesn't have that, it does have a great finish for the Top 4.

I do wish we would have an approach similar to football for the last day and have them all at the same time with multiple games on.

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44 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

In one way, it's worked pretty well and delivered some exciting games and scenarios.

And yet....I aren't interested? All the focus has shifted to who's the best also ran.

Also as has been mentioned, players who may be in a WC will be preparing by playing part time players? I don't care how exciting these club games might be, this is detrimental to the national side.

So while I was wrong to completely dismiss it, i still think it's a poor system. That said, there's too much change as it  is so....

Pretty much agree with all this.

It switches the focus away from the top to the middle and below.  Crucially, it feels like we now play a never-ending season with arbitrary cut off points.

That said, there's little point in changing it for the sake of changing.

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Very precise and well written, perhaps if the authorities looked at this system and took it on its ever improving merits season on season they may just stay with it, he is totally correct in the lack of 'A' teams or reserves having an effect on the quality I do think (Cas apart) that the fare that is served up these days is as low as its ever been, it is no surprise to me at all that Cas who employ 3 coaches who were formerly half backs play a different style of football to those guided around by forwards!

And on the point of the NRL moving important games away from 'community grounds' I wonder what they would make of the Trailfinders, Londons home venue, why coukd they not have played this weekends game on a Saturday afternoon, does it coincide with a local garden fete or something similar.

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10 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Pretty much agree with all this.

It switches the focus away from the top to the middle and below.  Crucially, it feels like we now play a never-ending season with arbitrary cut off points.

That said, there's little point in changing it for the sake of changing.

Completely disagree, the focus is taken away by the fans themselves, why should there not be bumper crowds in this round, Cas v Hull is a need to win for Hull as is Saints, should Saints lose it is all to play for at Wigan, would these have been any different under the old system, and we would have had Wire, Cats, Leigh, Widnes and possibly the Giants letting the season slowly diminish and grind out.

Agree with your last bit though, leave it alone.

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28 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

It switches the focus away from the top to the middle and below.  Crucially, it feels like we now play a never-ending season with arbitrary cut off points.

 

1 hour ago, Johnoco said:

All the focus has shifted to who's the best also ran.

.

Naturally I can't argue with your guy's perception of this, as this is clearly how you feel, but the quoted view is not something I understand.

We still have exactly the same level of focus on the top of the table as we ever have, with the final game of the year being the Grand Final in front of 70k. For the last 8 weeks of the season we will only see games between the top 8 in this section.

I'm not sure exactly how the focus has been moved to the bottom of the table. We now have this in addition, but exactly the same level of focus remains on the top teams.

Personally I welcome a new angle to the comp, a bit of variety in the fixtures, and whilst I accept there are flaws in it, anything that brings more excitement is welcome, but I certainly don't see it replacing any of the top of table tension.

My personal preference would have been for a real WCS to bring the variety into the comp, but I have no issues whatsoever with a bottom of the table playoff.

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6 minutes ago, Dave T said:

 

Naturally I can't argue with your guy's perception of this, as this is clearly how you feel, but the quoted view is not something I understand.

We still have exactly the same level of focus on the top of the table as we ever have, with the final game of the year being the Grand Final in front of 70k. For the last 8 weeks of the season we will only see games between the top 8 in this section.

I'm not sure exactly how the focus has been moved to the bottom of the table. We now have this in addition, but exactly the same level of focus remains on the top teams.

Personally I welcome a new angle to the comp, a bit of variety in the fixtures, and whilst I accept there are flaws in it, anything that brings more excitement is welcome, but I certainly don't see it replacing any of the top of table tension.

My personal preference would have been for a real WCS to bring the variety into the comp, but I have no issues whatsoever with a bottom of the table playoff.

Agree totally, but WCS? Sorry If I'm being thick but......

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Pro: It has put extra life and emphasis on the leagues below Super League.
Con: It has de-emphasised our fully professional Super League.

It depends what you want from rugby's future.  If you want bottom-up growth then the 8s are a good way forward.  If you want a top-down growth driven from the professional and international game then it's an abysmal way forward.

So, no, I still don't like it and doubt I ever will.

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15 minutes ago, Dave T said:

 

Naturally I can't argue with your guy's perception of this, as this is clearly how you feel, but the quoted view is not something I understand.

We still have exactly the same level of focus on the top of the table as we ever have, with the final game of the year being the Grand Final in front of 70k. For the last 8 weeks of the season we will only see games between the top 8 in this section.

I'm not sure exactly how the focus has been moved to the bottom of the table. We now have this in addition, but exactly the same level of focus remains on the top teams.

Personally I welcome a new angle to the comp, a bit of variety in the fixtures, and whilst I accept there are flaws in it, anything that brings more excitement is welcome, but I certainly don't see it replacing any of the top of table tension.

My personal preference would have been for a real WCS to bring the variety into the comp, but I have no issues whatsoever with a bottom of the table playoff.

So how come I hear just as much about Warringtons failings as much as Cas's success? I think more people will remember the MPG last year than who actually won the GF.

It didn't used to be this way and as soon as the regular games were finished, the also rans season was over and the play offs began. Coverage and focus was all about winning and who was the best team, now it's not.

If you still enjoy it, fine. 

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I would have thought one factor impacting overall quality is the low level of salary cap.  For me that's why the first team squads have high number of academy players leading to poorer quality when injuries mount.  The level as distinct from concept is a factor in the quality of the competition.

Never-the-less it allows lesser successful run or financial restricted clubs to compete, all-be-it by lowest common denominator.

Personal I don't see how interest has increased because of the structure, as some have said prior to latest league structure we had interest towards end of season too, whether it be top 5, top 8 or whatever.  For me the current league structure is not a big factor in creating interest/attention.

Edited by redjonn

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34 minutes ago, GaryO said:

Completely disagree, the focus is taken away by the fans themselves, why should there not be bumper crowds in this round, Cas v Hull is a need to win for Hull as is Saints, should Saints lose it is all to play for at Wigan, would these have been any different under the old system, and we would have had Wire, Cats, Leigh, Widnes and possibly the Giants letting the season slowly diminish and grind out.

Agree with your last bit though, leave it alone.

Bumper crowds eh? Let's see 

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12 minutes ago, Tongs ya bas said:

it inhibits the growth of the elite comp: it sucks. this article doesn't convince me otherwise. 

I respect your opinion Tongy, I dont agree with it, but respect it all the same, one things for sure one if us will be disappointed or we should be in the very near future, surely The RFL will be advising us prior to next season kicking off what the plans are for 2019, if they don't announce anything before 2018 then I assume it is "carry on as you are" but this is Rugby League why let people prepare when it is just as easy to cast something upon them!

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