I'm an unabashed fan of the NRL Nines as a concept. It's fast, free-flowing, easy to watch, entertaining and draws in new markets which rugby league is going to need if it wants to expand.
The initial version of the Nines they unleashed in Auckland was a relative success. Eden Park, the home of New Zealand rugby, was packed out for two days straight of rugby league action and it drew plenty of viewers.
It provided a way to satiate rugby league fans during the summer months on a grander scale than the usual trial matches which rarely feature any of the game's stars and are usually used to give a few kids a crack alongside some players pushing for first grade selection.
Those trials are also rarely televised or broadcast and fans don't really care about it either.
The merits of the Nines and the impact of an intense tournament can be debated by all and sundry, but the bottom line is, they're here, might as well enjoy some rugby league. There's nothing else really on sport wise given the BBL season has come to an end and the Australian Open has been run and won weeks ago.
But the NRL has absolutely butchered the scheduling of the Perth Nines.
Instead of hosting it across a Saturday/Sunday, providing plenty of families the chance to get out to all of the games, they've opted for a condensed schedule across Friday night and Saturday.
This proposes a few issues. First, the early games start at 4.30pm local time, meaning it's unlikely locals are going to get down to at least the first 90 minutes of games.
This decision was taken in order to air early games in prime time on the east coast, specifically Sydney.
The only problem with that is that the final game won't air until 10.30pm, well out of prime time in Sydney.
The biggest issue is that the NRL has decided they'll keep the traditional four pools of four teams. But each team will only be playing two games, meaning every team in every pool won't play each other, leading to what could be an unfair and/or lopsided KO round.
This is due to the simple fact that not every team has sent their strongest squad to the Nines. Teams like Melbourne and the Roosters have withheld some of their biggest stars, while teams like Eels have sent the strongest squads they can.
Rugby Sevens has shown that holding tournaments on Saturday/Sunday provides the best chance of stadiums being filled along with solid TV ratings. A tournament held over two full days also means every team can play three matches in their pool round.
If the NRL wants this to be successful then they need to treat it as a proper competition that can be played across a weekend. Not some toy than can continually tinker with, providing no continuity to fans and throwing up uneven draws or lopsided contests.