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THE FORWARD PASS | What’s the Radical Finals Change?

The fake news that’s actually fake.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo has announced a radical, super-sized finals format.

From 2022, 12 teams will qualify for the finals, split into two groups.

The top four teams will enjoy a week off (and a double chance), with teams fifth to 12th playing knockout finals on the first weekend. The remaining four teams from the knockout stage will join the top four teams in a top eight finals series.

KNOCKOUT WEEK ONE

A) 5 v 8, B) 6 v 7, C) 9 v 12, D) 10 v 11

The season will start one week earlier to accommodate the extra finals week.

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Abdo is excited by the new format, “Commercial and broadcasting obligations means it’s in our best interests to keep as many teams in the finals hunt as possible. The top four teams are rewarded with a week off, and the ‘knockout weekend’ will be full of hotly anticipated sudden-death footy.”

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Phil Gould has savaged the new format, “This is pure revenue raising by the NRL. Even though the extra games will benefit Nine, I still don’t like it. Back in my day, we had the final five and it was perfect! Those teams earnt the right to play finals after a long season. Honestly, if you’re a fan of a team who gets knocked out in the first week, will you really be happy with that? It’s going to make bad teams satisfied with qualifying for the knockouts when they should be rebuilding for the future.”

Fox League and Channel Nine were contacted for their reactions, but they were too busy fantastising about all the money they’ll make from the extended finals format.

The Forward Pass is a fictional and deliberately ridiculous look at the NRL. References to real people is for satirical purposes only. Check it out on Twitter @thefwdpass

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