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With two championship sides beating super league sides in the challenge cup this year . I was wondering is this the benefit from championship sides playing in the middle 8 . Standards at the top of end of the championship have certainly improved in the last couple of seasons . Has RL again dropped a clanger by scraping it . Ok it should have been tweaked a little but to scrap it seemed a little hasty . I know Bradford didn't play in middle 8 , but with others doing so has forced Bradford to raise there standard to compete with rest in the league .       

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Totally agree, the scrapping of it was completely out of fear, must say I was totally surprised that the SL guaranteed that one club would be relegated from their division, at least in the 8's system they had a fighting chance of survival, it will really backfire in the faces of the SL if Leeds are victim of the abandoned 8's.

If so and Leeds are relegated will the rules be changed to accomodate them "in their rightfull place" he says sarcastically, which would make a total and complete mockery of the competition of winning and losing, surely even the most ardent Leeds fan would not want to see the rules of the competition being dishounered in such a way, would they?

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54 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Totally agree, the scrapping of it was completely out of fear, must say I was totally surprised that the SL guaranteed that one club would be relegated from their division, at least in the 8's system they had a fighting chance of survival, it will really backfire in the faces of the SL if Leeds are victim of the abandoned 8's.

If so and Leeds are relegated will the rules be changed to accomodate them "in their rightfull place" he says sarcastically, which would make a total and complete mockery of the competition of winning and losing, surely even the most ardent Leeds fan would not want to see the rules of the competition being dishounered in such a way, would they?

I think if they had known London would be going up before changing the system they would have scrapped relegation and just promoted 2 from the championship which would have given a very good chance of either having another team from france and Toronto in SL or Toronto and Bradford in SL with 14 teams which IMO would be the perfect SL to move forward.

But to answer your question if Leeds finish bottom they deserve to go down without a doubt 

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1 hour ago, Harry Stottle said:

Totally agree, the scrapping of it was completely out of fear, must say I was totally surprised that the SL guaranteed that one club would be relegated from their division, at least in the 8's system they had a fighting chance of survival, it will really backfire in the faces of the SL if Leeds are victim of the abandoned 8's.

If so and Leeds are relegated will the rules be changed to accomodate them "in their rightfull place" he says sarcastically, which would make a total and complete mockery of the competition of winning and losing, surely even the most ardent Leeds fan would not want to see the rules of the competition being dishounered in such a way, would they?

In answer to your question, Yes.

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1 hour ago, superten said:

With two championship sides beating super league sides in the challenge cup this year . I was wondering is this the benefit from championship sides playing in the middle 8 . Standards at the top of end of the championship have certainly improved in the last couple of seasons . Has RL again dropped a clanger by scraping it . Ok it should have been tweaked a little but to scrap it seemed a little hasty . I know Bradford didn't play in middle 8 , but with others doing so has forced Bradford to raise there standard to compete with rest in the league .       

Yes absolutely IMHO i loved the whole 8s concept.. however, the biggest downfall of it was the arranging of games at short notice etc and I think that is just too alien in the UK for so many games and along with the fear of the strong SL teams of "1 bad year" they were the main drivers for binning it off.

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The logic of the 8s was that in theory a team might ultimately get relegated after finishing 9th (out of12!) in the regular season. How crazy is that.  And if you accept that well the 9th team would actually always stay up... then just what is the point of them?

This is a zombie post.  It is no more. It has shuffled off it's mortal coil.

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I know some of you look for any opportunity to criticise Superleague, but I think facts help us when looking at questions like this. So I decided to have a look back at the 4 years of the Qualifiers results to see if there was any pattern we could observe that shows us that the format of the qualifiers SPECIFICALLY, rather than just the RETURN OF P&R, had any effect. Here's what I discovered:

* From 2015-2018 Championship teams won 13 of 65 matchups vs SL teams (20%)

* That's skewed by last year. From 2015-17, Ch won just 7 of 49 matchups (14%)

* 2018 was (relatively) wild. Ch won 6 of 16 matchups  (38%)

* Looking more closely at those 13 championship wins:

- 3 were defeats of a Widnes team that had basically collapsed

- 2 were wins by full-time Toronto and Toulouse at home 

- 2 were wins by HKR in 2017 who stayed full time to bounce straight back up

- 2 were wins by Leigh in 2016 who were promoted with a full-time side  

- London beat Salford twice (in 2016 and 2018) and Bradford beat Salford in 2015 having stayed full time after relegation.

* The only genuine shock over the 4 years I can find is part-time Sheffield beating Wakefield in 2015 

Looking at all of this, I can't see any evidence that the Qualifiers format IN ITSELF, did anything to raise standards. Indeed, Bradford went down, almost bounced  back up, then collapsed. Leigh went up, then straight back down, London look like going the same way.

What did happen, however, is that by reopening P&R, ambitious clubs with access to money were were incentivised mount a challenge and that of course HAS boosted standards in the championship.

So although I myself enjoyed watching many of the qualifier games on TV as something novel, there seems to be no evidence that the format itself did anything for overall standards that won't still be in place with the current 1up/1 down system.

Indeed, with a Championship playoff series now in place and no need to beat a SL team to go up, it's actually EASIER for a Champ team to be promoted, so hardly a pulling up of the drawbridge.

Whether teams can stay up or just end up going straight back down will be determined by the same factors as it ever was - can they afford a squad that will be competitive at the highest level.

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4 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

Totally agree, the scrapping of it was completely out of fear, must say I was totally surprised that the SL guaranteed that one club would be relegated from their division, at least in the 8's system they had a fighting chance of survival, it will really backfire in the faces of the SL if Leeds are victim of the abandoned 8's.

If so and Leeds are relegated will the rules be changed to accomodate them "in their rightfull place" he says sarcastically, which would make a total and complete mockery of the competition of winning and losing, surely even the most ardent Leeds fan would not want to see the rules of the competition being dishounered in such a way, would they?

There's NOT A CHANCE of Leeds going down, them and wigin run the RL! 

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The middle 8’s might have been exciting, but people weren’t actually flocking to the games. As for the so called super sonic super 8’s, wow whoever thought of that idea should have been named, shamed, then tarred & feathered.

How boring was thezzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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Leeds finishing bottom creates a massive headache for Elstone and Super League. 

Elstone needs to ensure the integrity of the competition, but he has made no secret that his aim is to improve the TV deal. He isn't going to do that without the game's most commercially viable club and it's biggest market. 

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The Middle 8s might have been exciting at times but everything else about the end of season - the top 8s, the Championship Shield etc - was a complete bust.

It was an awful system overall and thankfully has gone.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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7 hours ago, superten said:

With two championship sides beating super league sides in the challenge cup this year . I was wondering is this the benefit from championship sides playing in the middle 8 . Standards at the top of end of the championship have certainly improved in the last couple of seasons . Has RL again dropped a clanger by scraping it . Ok it should have been tweaked a little but to scrap it seemed a little hasty . I know Bradford didn't play in middle 8 , but with others doing so has forced Bradford to raise there standard to compete with rest in the league .       

I prefer a relegation playoff, 1st gets promoted then 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th playoff  with the winner playing 11th in the final or something similar  

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Personally I wasn't a fan of the 8s and I really struggle to see any evidence of where the short period of it's existence has raised the quality of the Championship teams any more than would have happened anyway. If anything Leeds looked more like a Championship side than Bradford did a SL one.

I do though think the Championship has become progressively more competitive though. Bradford and York in particular have been far stronger than the teams they replaced, obviously Toronto have come in, Toulouse have improved, Leigh have done well out of dual reg, Widnes seem to have adjusted fairly well to the drop.

For me there would be a lot to be said for the Championship focussing on the Championship and not worrying too much about what SL is doing. There's a really good opportunity to continue building a brand in its own right, improving standards and income. Similarly I hope SL clubs can see the value the sport gets from a strong second tier.

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34 minutes ago, Moove said:

For me there would be a lot to be said for the Championship focussing on the Championship and not worrying too much about what SL is doing. There's a really good opportunity to continue building a brand in its own right, improving standards and income. Similarly I hope SL clubs can see the value the sport gets from a strong second tier.

The problem is, as long as P&R is in place, it's inevitable that SL will be focus because that's what teams are playing for. And if teams aren't strongly thinking about how they might cope in SL, they'll find themselves in for a rude shock when they get there which might wreck all the good work they've done.

It's a paradox, but promotion would be the worst thing that could happen to half of the teams in the Championship. For the smaller clubs, a ring fenced heartland-based 'RFL Championship' that focuses on all the old rivalries, with a lower salary cap, would be the best thing for them. But for the 5 or 6 clubs that can aim a bit higher, any talk of closing the door is hugely damaging of what they've got going. It's really 2 leagues in one, and I have sympathy with both groups.

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I thought the 8s were a fantastic unique concept. Seriously was there anything like it in any other sport?

So naturally RL did away with it.

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1 hour ago, Moove said:

Personally I wasn't a fan of the 8s and I really struggle to see any evidence of where the short period of it's existence has raised the quality of the Championship teams any more than would have happened anyway. If anything Leeds looked more like a Championship side than Bradford did a SL one.

I do though think the Championship has become progressively more competitive though. Bradford and York in particular have been far stronger than the teams they replaced, obviously Toronto have come in, Toulouse have improved, Leigh have done well out of dual reg, Widnes seem to have adjusted fairly well to the drop.

For me there would be a lot to be said for the Championship focussing on the Championship and not worrying too much about what SL is doing. There's a really good opportunity to continue building a brand in its own right, improving standards and income. Similarly I hope SL clubs can see the value the sport gets from a strong second tier.

The majority of Super League Clubs and their Chairmen couldn't give a toss about the Championship and it's Clubs.

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21 minutes ago, Gooleboy said:

The majority of Super League Clubs and their Chairmen couldn't give a toss about the Championship and it's Clubs.

I doubt the majority of Premier Football owners give a toss about the EFL clubs , or they about the non leagues , that's just life 

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God no it was awful and was rightly sacked. 

Yes it was a little interesting but was the lowest common denominator. 

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1 hour ago, Moove said:

Personally I wasn't a fan of the 8s and I really struggle to see any evidence of where the short period of it's existence has raised the quality of the Championship teams any more than would have happened anyway. If anything Leeds looked more like a Championship side than Bradford did a SL one.

I do though think the Championship has become progressively more competitive though. Bradford and York in particular have been far stronger than the teams they replaced, obviously Toronto have come in, Toulouse have improved, Leigh have done well out of dual reg, Widnes seem to have adjusted fairly well to the drop.

For me there would be a lot to be said for the Championship focussing on the Championship and not worrying too much about what SL is doing. There's a really good opportunity to continue building a brand in its own right, improving standards and income. Similarly I hope SL clubs can see the value the sport gets from a strong second tier.

Good post. I too think the championship should concentrate on creating a strong competition in its own right. 

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1 hour ago, Toby Chopra said:

The problem is, as long as P&R is in place, it's inevitable that SL will be focus because that's what teams are playing for. And if teams aren't strongly thinking about how they might cope in SL, they'll find themselves in for a rude shock when they get there which might wreck all the good work they've done.

It's a paradox, but promotion would be the worst thing that could happen to half of the teams in the Championship. For the smaller clubs, a ring fenced heartland-based 'RFL Championship' that focuses on all the old rivalries, with a lower salary cap, would be the best thing for them. But for the 5 or 6 clubs that can aim a bit higher, any talk of closing the door is hugely damaging of what they've got going. It's really 2 leagues in one, and I have sympathy with both groups.

This is 100% true. Some clubs have locked themselves in to a death spiral where the only thing that matters is SL so all they can focus on is SL which leaves them entirely unable to build the championship in to anything and leaves their only means of survival as getting out of it  

Half the league are then stuck in a competition  they dont really want to get out of, reduced to basically a speed bump for those that do.

The championship has had more funding than ever before over the past 5/6 years and about half the clubs spent themselves in to financial difficulties and the clubs are no further forward than they were then. If the SL free money spigot turns off tomorrow tget just all go bust. They haven't spent that money on out reach or facilities or long term growth. We have spent millions on pound store version of SL and are confused why no one wants to buy it. 

The championship clubs should forget about SL and concentrate on making a better championship 

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34 minutes ago, Mattrhino said:

Good post. I too think the championship should concentrate on creating a strong competition in its own right. 

Be better still next year with Leeds in it 

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3 hours ago, Moove said:

Personally I wasn't a fan of the 8s and I really struggle to see any evidence of where the short period of it's existence has raised the quality of the Championship teams any more than would have happened anyway. If anything Leeds looked more like a Championship side than Bradford did a SL one.

I do though think the Championship has become progressively more competitive though. Bradford and York in particular have been far stronger than the teams they replaced, obviously Toronto have come in, Toulouse have improved, Leigh have done well out of dual reg, Widnes seem to have adjusted fairly well to the drop.

For me there would be a lot to be said for the Championship focussing on the Championship and not worrying too much about what SL is doing. There's a really good opportunity to continue building a brand in its own right, improving standards and income. Similarly I hope SL clubs can see the value the sport gets from a strong second tier.

And which proffesional team is it you are aligned to Moove, I ask because I consider that to be a very relative question to your description.

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9 hours ago, Mattrhino said:

Good post. I too think the championship should concentrate on creating a strong competition in its own right. 

As he says looking down from his ivory tower, and do you consider a closed shop will be good for the Championship, if so please tell me why you consider such action,  I will gladly engage in a debate with you Matt.

Edited by Harry Stottle

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30 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

And which proffesional team is it you are aligned to Moove, I ask because I consider that to be a very relative question to your description.

St Helens

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