NRL and AFL top eight systems are unfair
The NRL and AFL top eight places are determined on the for/against differential model. This is an unacceptable system given the season’s imbalanced and unfair draws.
Teams don’t play each other twice, some play easybeat teams just once and in NRL’s case State of Origin skews results and margins.
At the moment when two or more teams finish on the same points their allocated position on the Top 8 table is determined by points differential.
In the NFL where the 32 teams do not play each other twice, the play-off positions of teams finishing on equal points are separated by tie-breaker rules.
In the first instance it just comes down whether Team A beat Team B during the season.
If they played twice then the combined scores are added to calculate a winner.
In the AFL some teams have played GWS twice, others have not had this opportunity to pile on the points.
In the NRL during the State of Origin period and just after some teams usually strong opponents were easily beatable.
In the NRL, Bulldogs and Storm could finish in equal first place this weekend, but Melbourne’s superior for/against will give them the minor premiership trophy even though in the cumulative two match total they lost to Canterbury 26-16.
Manly beat both the Cowboys and Rabbitohs in regular season but if the three teams finish on equal points for third to fifth place, Manly has the worse for/against and miss the Top four.
Souths beat North Queensland but that counts for nothing to decide play-off places.
When two or more teams finish in equal eighth place the team with the inferior for/against will be relegated to ninth place even though they may have twice thrashed the 8th place team during the season.
Both the NRL and AFL should fix this for 2013 by looking at the NFL model.
The NFL system essentially replaces a mid week play-off between the two teams to decide places.
The NFL tie-breaker rules address the unfairness of the imbalance in for/against due to teams not playing two complete rounds and also makes winning individual matches against rival teams during the season very important.
It is a joke and unfair that teams don’t play each twice during the season.
It is a bigger joke that the top eight systems of the AFL and NRL still use a points differential system.
This worked when everyone played everyone twice, but is outdated in the current draw.
What do you think Roarers? Which is the fairer system?
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