Monday, 14 September 2015

super 8's-are they working?

This year sees the first year of a new format for Rugby League. After the regular season had ended, the 24 teams of the Superleague and Championship were split into groups of "8's". This has presented unique challenges and opportunities for each team within this system.

Following the regular season, the top 8 Superleague teams separated from the bottom 4 teams and became the Super 8. These teams have carried their points over, with higher table positions resulting in more home games. They're competing for a top 4 position to enter the playoffs for the Grand Final in November.

The bottom 4 Superleague teams have been joined from the  top 4 of the Championship. This set of 8, The Qualifiers, are competing for places in Superleague 2016. They have not carried  any points over as it would be unfair, having come from two competitions.

The final 8 Championship teams will have points continue as they compete for the playoffs of the Championship shield.

We are now well into this Super 8 portion of the season, and what I want to know, is it working.

Well, yes.

Anyone watching Superleague over the  past year will surely agree, that the pressure to succeed has never let up. There is always something to play for. Instead of teams beginning to flag towards the end of the season, the Super 8's have only gotten hotter. With just two games left, the top 4 are still undecided. It's all to play for.

The Qualifiers have also given some nail biting games. Particularly for me when teams from Super league and Championship have battled. Almost everyone has benefited from the new format this year.

Fans have more games than ever, with continuation of television coverage. Championship teams have their time on the little screen too, as they compete for coveted Superleague places. This has enabled them to show off their own talents very well so far. Players have more to play for than ever and are gaining more and more experience, in ever bigger  games.

 The prospect of promotion and relegation is one I am familiar with, having a football background. Yet this new unique format is both exciting and innovating. This is showing the world that Rugby League is willing to think outside  the box and create competition that will far  people I'm.

The only negative point that can be raised is that by having an extended season players are increasing their exposure to injury. While most hardy league players asked would assure fans that this is not an issue, the effects are beginning to be seen.

An example can be seen within Hull FC, who could only name 18 men, not 19, just two days before their clash against Wigan Warriors. The game itself proved to be a gritty close win for the Warriors, but teams are going to have to get even tougher to adapt to late season injury losses.

The Super 8's are proving to be exhilarating but they're not over yet.
 I cannot wait to see what teams have in store for us for the final games of the season.

Abi x