Statewide Competitions finals format update

It’s almost that time of year again – footy finals!

This year, the Intrust Super Cup clubs voted to introduce a top eight finals format, a change from last year’s top six model.

The change was also introduced to the Under 20 Hastings Deering Colts competition as well – keeping the race for the finals alive for longer.

The change has meant more teams remain in the hunt for a taste of finals football for a much longer period of time – keeping fans engaged in each passing week’s results.

While the Sunshine Coast Falcons are currently sitting pretty at the top of the table having only dropped the one game so far this year – to defending premiers the Redcliffe Dolphins who have only in recent weeks moved up to claim a spot in the top eight.

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The shuffle between the clubs jostling for those final places is an intriguing one, with plenty of movement yet to come before the final round of matches in August – the Round 23 Turn to Me games.

Writing for QRL.com.au; experienced rugby league journalist Joel Gould spoke to QRL statewide competitions manager Dave Maiden who said the change of format had the buy-in from clubs, both as a concept and financially.

"Having a top eight was actually something raised by the clubs last year... they wanted to stay relevant for longer," Maiden said.

"It keeps the fans engaged for longer and people interested in our game and our product; as we are a statewide competition, it is important for us to keep our fans as engaged as we can for as long as possible.”

The Redcliffe Dolphins played against the NSW Cup winning Bulldogs on NRL grand final day last year. Photos: NRL Photos
The Redcliffe Dolphins played against the NSW Cup winning Bulldogs on NRL grand final day last year. Photos: NRL Photos

The format for the finals matches in both the Intrust Super Cup and Hastings Deering Colts will see four weeks of finals played, with the addition of the National State Championship match on NRL grand final day for the winner of the Intrust Super Cup against the NSW Canterbury Cup winner.

Redcliffe’s refurbished Dolphin Stadium will host this year’s Intrust Super Cup grand final on Sunday, September 29.

The format for the 2019 finals series will be:

Week 1 of the finals (semi-finals 1) will see:

Team 1 v Team 4 (Game 1 - Week 1)
Winner goes straight to the preliminary final (Game 1 - Week 3)
Loser to semi-final 2 (Game 1 Week 2)

Team 2 v Team 3 (Game 2 – Week 1)
Winner goes straight to the preliminary final (Game 2 - Week 3)
Loser to semi-final 2 (Game 2 – Week 2)

Team 5 v Team 8 (Game 3 – Week 1)
Winner to semi-final 2 (Game 1 – Week 2)
Loser eliminated

Team 6 v Team 7 (Game 4 – Week 1)
Winner to semi-final 2 (Game 2 – Week 2)
Loser eliminated

Week 2 of the finals (semi-finals) will see:

Game 1 – Week 2: Loser (Game 1 – Week 1) v Winner (Game 3 – Week 1)
Game 2 – Week 2: Loser (Game 2 – Week 1) v Winner (Game 4 – Week 1)

Week 3 of the finals (preliminary finals) will see:

Game 1 – Week 3: Winner (Game 1 – Week 1) v Winner (Game 2 – Week 2)
Game 2 – Week 3: Winner (Game 2 – Week 1) v Winner (Game 2 – Week 2)

Week 4 of the finals (grand final) will see:

Winner (Game 1 Week 3) v Winner (Game 2 Week 3)

The 2018 Duncan Hall Medal winner Toby Rudolf from the Redcliffe Dolphins on Intrust Super Cup grand final day. Photo: QRL Media
The 2018 Duncan Hall Medal winner Toby Rudolf from the Redcliffe Dolphins on Intrust Super Cup grand final day. Photo: QRL Media

Player eligibility for the finals is also outlined in the Statewide Competitions operations manual under Section 11. Eligibility–Fixtures and Finals