Buzz runs a rule over Teams

Not much news regarding Parra so just a general story about the upcoming finals .

RABBITS IN A FINALS HOLE
Phil Rothfield runs a rule over your team’s chances to make the finals and it isn’t pretty for last year’s grand finalists
THE NRL has been broken into a three-division competition – the serious contenders, the possible finalists and five also-rans battling to avoid the wooden spoon.

An analysis of the draw for the rest of the season indicates 26 points will be the cut-off point to make the playoffs and that the top eight might not be decided until old rivals the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney meet in a blockbuster opening of the new Allianz Stadium in round 25.

With 10 rounds remaining before the finals:

• The top six teams are all but certain to make the top eight;

• Five teams, including heavyweights the Rabbitohs and the Roosters, are vying for only two remaining finals berths; and

• The bottom five – the Knights, Bulldogs, Wests Tigers, Warriors and Titans — can already be classified as also-rans after 15 rounds.

We have ranked the run home for each club on the combined competition points of each of their remaining ­opponents in the run to ­September.

Of all 16 clubs, the Rabbitohs have by far the toughest draw.

Division 1: Panthers, Storm, Cowboys, Sharks, Broncos, Eels.

The Panthers, four points clear of Melbourne Storm, are paying $1.03 to win the minor premiership. They have a bye up their sleeves and games against bottomfour clubs the Wests Tigers and Warriors.

The Storm and Cowboys will fight it out for second place. The Cowboys have a bye and the easier draw with three games against “division 3” teams the Wests Tigers, Warriors and Bulldogs.

The Eels, Sharks and Broncos will fight for the remaining spot in the top four.

Parramatta has been horribly inconsistent but looks most likely to finish fourth and get a second chance in the finals.

Division 2: Rabbitohs, Dragons, Roosters, Sea Eagles, Raiders.

The Rabbitohs might be getting Latrell Mitchell back but they have the hardest run home.

The teams they play have a combined 174 competition points. They don’t have a bye and have to play the Panthers, Storm and Cowboys plus the Eels twice.

They can scrape into eighth spot on 26 points with five wins from their last 10 games.

It helps having the Knights (away), the Bulldogs (away) and the Warriors (home).

Who would have thought the Roosters would be in “division 2” at the beginning of the season? The bookies rated them alongside the Panthers and Storm as the premiership ­favourites.

At least they have a bye in hand but still have to play the top three – the Panthers, Storm and Cowboys – before the end of the season. It looks like they will have to win six of their last nine.

Their final game of the season, at the opening of the new Allianz Stadium, against the Rabbitohs could determine the final place in the top eight.

Division 3: Knights, Bulldogs, Wests Tigers, Warriors, Titans.

The battle to avoid the wooden spoon is as intense as it gets.

The TAB has the Warriors and Wests Tigers as $3 joint favourites.

The Titans are $5, the Knights $6 and the Bulldogs are drifting at $7 on the back of their mini revival.

I have always been a fan of promotion and relegation.

The fact we have five teams just making up the numbers for the remainder of the year is not good for the competition.

Imagine the boost in crowds and TV ratings if they were all fighting to avoid ­relegation.

You look at the extraordinary interest in the bottom sides every year in European soccer.

While it is still mathematically possible, the 12thplaced Knights would have to win eight from 10 or the Bulldogs eight from nine (they have a bye) to scrape in.

The Knights just aren’t playing well enough and the Dogs would have to consistently produce their form from the past fortnight, which is highly unlikely.

Still, Titans coach Justin Holbrook said there was still much to be achieved this year.

“You certainly don’t give up,” he said. “You’ve got to stay optimistic.

“Like in 2020, we’ve got to finish the season really well.

“You saw it against the Sharks, we’re still competing and trying to win games.

“We can’t just capitulate and we won’t.” — with Jen Dawson and 3 others.

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  • No promotion and relegation please.

    Ever.

    • Since we don't have a 2nd division that seems unlikely 

  • Relegation i understand the point but it is unrealistic for a few reasons.

    1. Contracts, do you think if Gold Coast got relegated, David Fifita will stay put? as would other players? No, so breaking of contracts would be more prevailent. Also, with the NRL reluctant to change how player transfer work leaving it as it is, you would have players signing for a club that would get relegated later and renig, or have them not signing anyone then survive and have nobody to sign? Unless you do a November Transfer window it would be a nightmare.

    2. Fan base, fans would drop off if their team went to NSW Cup, plus you have teams like Parramatta playing out of CommBank, are the NSWRL going to fund playing out of CommBank all year with no crowd? Yes, Norths fans would come back in droves to see their club back in the NRL, but what if they are relegated again? Do you risk a big fan base like Canterbury or Parramatta getting relegated and that fan base drops off the game entirely, then you will have the NRL being dodgy to keep them up.

    3. Funding, a few lower grade teams are feeder's to other clubs, they would not be able to fund an NRL team. North Sydney have admitted they are making way more money being in NSW cup than they are in the NRL. How would they stay afloat in NSW cup? Currently have Penrith, Parramatta, St. George Illawarra, Canterbury, Canberra and Souths all have their own reserve grade, have to take them out and bring in like Newtown, North Sydney etc. Where do our reserves go? Unless we do deals to loan them to NSW Cup teams, it will be odd for a team like Norths to be promoted with half of our reserves, when they go up they lose half of them and have a new team and get relegated again.

     

    Just too many factors in relegation and promotion failing, focus on grass roots and improving the talent, there is so much untapped talent in different areas in NSW and QLD, go further and look in SA, WA, VIC, TAS and NT. Look everywhere, you will find a few talents that either do pursue it or go to Union or AFL. Forget relegation and focus on getting talent, that is how you improve the competition, more great players not more teams or pressure on teams.

    • I don't want to sound argumentative, but in response ...

      Firstly, that already happens in European football with P&R, most players of note have relegation release clauses and/or wage reduction clauses in their contracts in the event of relegation. No reason that couldn't be incorporated into rugby league in this country if we were to decide to go the integrated pyramid system.

      Secondly, yes crowds might fall for a relegated team, but then again they might not, particularly if that team is winning in the 2nd division and is likely to be promoted back to the top flight. Again, this also happens in European football, teams get relegated, crowds do drop somewhat, but payroll and overall costs are also lower.

      Thirdly, funding is purely an act of will between the clubs. For example in the English system, if a team is relegated from the Premier League to the Championship, it gets "parachute payments" for up to 3 years to smooth out the transition. Again, no reason the NRL couldn't have a similar system. On top of that, the Premier League seeds a portion of its broadcast rights back to the EFL, who then redistribute those funds proportionally to the clubs in the Championship, League One & League Two, on top of its own broadcast rights. Again, perfectly repeatable.

      Finally, there is no reason why reserve grade teams can't be also part of the pyramid, they would just have to play at least one division below the senior team. This happens in a number of European football leagues, like Spain for example. Barcelona play in La Liga, but Barca B play in the 3rd Division. Transfers between the two clubs act as they do between any two clubs, in the summer & January transfer windows. If the NRL were to then adopt an FA Cup style knockout competition, then the reserve teams would be ineligible.

      There would be a lot of details to iron out sure, but the beauty of P&R is that it is a more or less pure meritocracy, and it also encourages ambition. The flipside is that it also encourages short termism, but we have that already, don't we ?

      I know there is a huge controversy in english club rugby at the moment where they have temporarily ring fenced the Premiership and are denying promotion to ambitious Championship clubs.

      Think about, the Bears want promotion, let them earn it through performance. Why should any club be entitled to a place at the big boys table ?

      The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a European model.

      What I will say is that we don't really have a proper European or American model ATM, we have an inadequate compromise of the two, and it isn't working.

      We have to decide which way we want to go, and then fully commit to it.

      • Some decent points Brett, I understand the discussion and why TV would love it, just do not think it can happen, the difference with like English football is that these teams have a bigger fan base with a sport that is no.1 in the nation, League is not no.1 in this nation. AFL is an example with their crowds compared to ours, they have a fanbase that will watch their team play any grade.

        But you make some decent points there Brett, just not as optimistic as you are about it all.

        • I agree, I don't think it can work in Australia, I was merely pointing out that I don't the logistics are insurmountable. 

    • Going further, this is what I envisage a European style pyramid might look in rugby league.

      Premiership (based on current ladder)

      Penrith

      Melbourne

      NQ Cowboys

      Cronulla

      Brisbane

      Parramatta

      South Sydney

      St.George

      Roosters

      Manly

      Canberra (Relegated)

      Newcastle (Relegated)

      Championship

      Canterbury (Automatically promoted)

      Wests Tigers (Promotion playoff)

      Warriors (Promotion playoff)

      Gold Coast (Promotion playoff)

      Nth Sydney (Promotion playoff)

      Redcliffe

      Burleigh Bears (1st in Q Cup)

      Newtown (4th in NSW Cup)

      Sunshine Coast Falcons (2nd in Q Cup)

      Mounties (10th in NSW Cup)

      CQ Capras (3rd in Q Cup) (Relegated)

      Wynumm Seagulls (4th in Q Cup) (Relegated)

      If we wanted a thrid division ....

      League One

      Wests Magpies (11th in NSW Cup) (Automatically promoted)

      Norths Brisbane Devils (5th in Q Cup) (Promotion playoff)

      Blacktown Workers (12th in NSW Cup) (Promotion playoff)

      Townsville Blackhawks (6th in Q Cup) (Promotion playoff)

      Penrith Reserves (Promotion playoff)

      Brisbane Tigers (7th in Q Cup)

      Canterbury Reserves

      Tweed Heads Seagulls (8th in Q Cup)

      Souths Reserves

      Mackay Cutters (9th in Q Cup)

      Rabbitohs Reserves (Relegated)

      Northern Pride (10th in Q Cup) (Relegated)

      The divisions below would be then state based, then regionally based and so on.

      12 teams per division, 22 games per league season, a top 4 for the finals if you wanted that, although I do prefer a simple first past the post system with a Knockout Cup Final as the season finale instead of the GF.

      Just a thought.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      • Hmmm never thought of including the QLD cup teams for some reason, that would be a cool little idea. Still not for it but hey there have been ideas ive been all for that i now hate and vice versa so never know.

        • I think the crux of the matter is whether we want to be expansionist and going to Perth, Adelaide etc, in which case an American style ring fenced conference style league is the go, or if we decide we're gonna stick to where we are now, in which case a European pyramid is probably the go. Very hard to be expand to new markets with a pyramidal system. Super League tried that with the London Broncos and Catalans Dragons with mixed success. 

      • What about some country NSW Teams?

        Wagga Wagga, Tamworth and maybe a Dubbo?

This reply was deleted.

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