Super League Playoffs to Enhance its Reputation
The Rugby Super League’s playoffs are all set to be action packed. Warrington Wolves last week won the League Leaders’ Shield in emphatic fashion at Hull, and this has set the tone for some of the exciting upcoming matches. Fans of the club expressed their joy after clinching the title as the club had previously won the League Leaders’ Shield back in 1973.
Change in playoffs format
Earlier, six teams qualified for the play offs, which has now been increased to eight. A change that was initially opposed by the coach of the Warrington team, Tony Smith, the new eight-team play off has given a second chance to many teams that repeatedly lose out. The move has been supported by many as in a league with 14 teams, a lot of games would have been completely meaningless if only six teams entered the playoffs.
The showdown between Hull Kingston Rovers and Castleford Tigers on Saturday rounded up the play offs with Castleford being defeated. Rovers wouldn’t have made it had the six team round-up still been intact. After winning eight out of nine matches, Hull Kingston Rovers have earned themselves a spot in the top eight. Hull FC’s performance was poor, winning and losing 13 matches each and drawing on one occasion.
Extra teams add to the excitement
The addition of two extra teams in the new system also means that there are two additional fixtures this year. This allows the Catalan Dragons to play off against the Hull Kingston Rovers in their renovated stadium Gilbert Brutus. This match will also allow the Catalan Dragons to promote their club.
If Hull is beaten by Leeds and the Catalan Dragons advance in the play offs, they could pose a challenge to the other teams fighting to round up the top four. This move also gives an added advantage to top teams like Warrington and Wigan Warriors. With the addition of two new teams and fixtures in the round offs, this year’s Super League is expected to be more unpredictable. This will only add to the credibility of the league and enhance its reputation as one of the most prestigious rugby competitions in the world.