McIntyre system perfect for NRL: Gallop - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

McIntyre system perfect for NRL: Gallop

By Ed Jackson 29/09/2009 03:43:03 PM Comments (0)

NRL chief executive David Gallop says the competition's controversial McIntyre finals system is here to stay.

Critics of the system have been out in force during the finals series, as Parramatta came from eighth position on the ladder to qualify for Sunday's grand final against a Melbourne team who finished fourth following the home-and-away rounds.

Most of the anti-McIntyre arguments this season have surrounded the exits of Manly and St George Illawarra.

Defending premiers Manly had to wait two days before learning of their exit in the first week of finals, losing to the Storm in a Friday night match and only being knocked out when the Eels upset the Dragons that Sunday.

The minor premier Dragons then had to travel to Brisbane in week two despite finishing five places higher than the Broncos on the ladder, going down 24-10 to have their season ended.

That led many to suggest the NRL adopt the AFL's finals system, but Gallop said no such move was being considered.

"A lot gets debated every year about the McIntyre system but we're pleased about what it's produced," he told reporters on Tuesday.

"It's a system that is the right one, we believe, for rugby league with the mid-season impact of rep footy.

"One playing eight and two playing seven makes sense to us.

"If you're good enough from seventh or eighth and you keep winning then you can get through to the grand final and that's what we've seen with Parramatta.

"We're pretty pleased with how it's turned out."

Gallop says teams making a late-season charge towards the grand final, such as the Eels this year and the Wests Tigers in seasons before them, should be applauded and deserved due reward.

"These days clubs are very conscious of the fact they need to be firing in September," he said.

"That's part of rugby league these days, getting through the attrition of a long season and peaking at the right time."

Gallop said this year's finals series had been a success for the game after an at-times troubled year on the field, culminating in last Friday's blockbuster preliminary final in front of a full house at ANZ Stadium between the Eels and Bulldogs.

"Obviously Friday night was a special night for the game," he said.

"To have 75,000 fans here, two big traditional Sydney clubs playing off for the one spot, was very important for us."

Gallop also said the two-referee system, which will be used for the first time at Sunday's grand final, had been a success in its inaugural season.

"The speed of the ruck, the speed of the game generally, the opportunity for the smaller guys to make an impact on the game has been what's made the footy on the field so exciting in 2009," he said.

"Our two-referee system has been a large part of that improvement."

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