Wildcard Weekend


NRL Captain
Suncorp Stadium
NRL finals shake-up: Top 10, wildcard round... but is it a game-changer or gimmick?

Under a new proposal, the NRL is set for a massive top eight finals shake-up in 2020 with the introduction of a wildcard round to be played between four teams.
  • March 4, 2019 7:02pm
  • by Staff writers
  • Source: FOX SPORTS
Mar 15 2019

The NRL finals race is set for a shake-up in 2020.Source: AAP
In what will make the race to the finals more exciting and minimise dead rubbers, the proposal is that teams that finish seventh to 10th on the NRL ladder will compete against each other for the final two spots in the top eight.
The teams that finish first to sixth will earn a week off.

Major shakeup for NRL Finals
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If the change had been implemented last season, the Wests Tigers and Canberra would’ve had the chance to break into the finals despite six and 10 points behind the Warriors who finished in eighth.
The fourth team that would’ve made up the wildcard round would’ve been St George Illawarra who finished in seventh.
Eighth will play ninth, while seventh will play 10th for spots in the elimination finals.

How the Wildcard Weekend would've worked based on last year's ladder.Source: FOX SPORTS
The NRL finals format will follow following the wildcard round.
What do you think of the changes? Vote in our poll below.
The proposal from new NRL head of football, Graham Annesley, will go to the game’s powerbrokers for a final sign-off.
“It’s probably not fair on the face of it, but in any finals system it’s not fair in itself,” Annesley said.
“Because you are playing a competition over four weeks involving eight teams where not everyone plays each other. All finals systems are inherently unfair to some degree.
“It’s all a balancing act.”
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said: “There’s some work we’re doing behind the scenes, which today we’re starting to brief some people on including our clubs about a different type of format from our finals series.
“It’s very much exploring it as a concept rather than signing it off.”

Kenty fumes at finals changes
According to NRL figures, the introduction of the wildcard weekend would reduce dead matches - featuring a team that cannot make the finals - from 22 to 13 based on the last 11 years.
Those figures also show there is a decline of around 3,300 in crowd numbers for those games, as well as an eight per cent drop in television ratings.
“It’s all intended to try and maintain interest in the competition for the participants, for our fans and members and people who come through the gates each week,” Annesley said.
A decision is likely to be made in the coming months.
I think it's fucking stupid, especially considering the number of teams in the comp.

You don't deserve a shot at the finals if you're not good enough to finish at least eighth, let alone ninth or tenth.
Agree. I could live with a shootout if any of the teams below 8 finish on the same number of competition points as #8. Missing the finals on +/- is a bitch. But rewarding mediocrity is the sort of shit the NRL loves to do to appease the shit Sydney clubs, but it needs to stop.


NRL Player

Bring it on!

The NRL couldn't be any more of a fucking laughing stock than it is now.

Honestly nothing would surprise me.

It sends a message that we've given up on expansion and growing the game. The option of taking the game to a wider market, having more teams and more games in other states, wouldn't that generate a bigger TV deal?

That logic is lost on poor ol' Toddie.

Ah Rugby League... Never change you drunken, pathetic, piece of shit, inbred, illiterate excuse for a sport.

I love you anyway.
As a neutral fan, the idea is fun, it'll be great television. Is that all that matters though? I don't know.

As a Rugby League fan I hate the idea, a team who finished 10 knocked out a team that finished 5th? Stupid.

I do love the idea of a 1 week break before the finals series though and I think that should be implemented regardless.
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I bleed Maroon

State of Origin Rep
Agree. I could live with a shootout if any of the teams below 8 finish on the same number of competition points as #8. Missing the finals on +/- is a bitch. But rewarding mediocrity is the sort of shit the NRL loves to do to appease the shit Sydney clubs, but it needs to stop.
This is exactly what it's designed to do, if not just to clog up the airwaves in the lead up to a new season to get all the talk of scandals and dramas out of the way. This idea was tailor made for the likes of the Tigers, the Knights and perhaps the Bulldogs and the Eagles if they somehow can get their shit together to get as high as 10th; Those NSW minnows who always finish within 2-4 points shy of the top 8 but never have the starch to get themselves over the line, it dangles them a carrot to chase.

Gotta keep those fans attention spans somewhat satisfied lest the perpetually pathetic crowd attendance and viewership of the NSW audience make the sport they claim to own look bad.

Sirlee oldman

QCup Player
For fuck’s sake vote against it though. Don’t let them bring it in with the excuse that no one bothered to vote against it.


International Rep
Horrible idea, everything Kent said on NRL 360 was my feelings, you're literally rewarding mediocrity, you only need to win 40-45% of your games to have a shot at making the finals, that's a load of shit.
Yep everything Kent said was bang on. I am enjoying him now that Bennett is gone and he has lost his bias, I don’t have to feel shit for liking him anymore.


NRL Player
It's a great idea. The top 6 would get a much needed break and it will keep the fans of the lower placed teams interested for a little longer. Imagine Round 26 and there are 4 teams vying for a wildcard spot. It is ratings gold and the interest levels will go through the roof. It's not about rewarding mediocrity because the winners of this tourney will be cannon fodder the next week anyways. Ch. 9 and Foxtel are all for the idea and they run the game, so I expect it to come into play in 2020. Some fans are against the concept because they hate change but they will get used to it in time and will have their eyes glued firmly to the box. I'm sure if the Broncos are sitting in tenth, you would have a different opinion.