Thoughts on the possible conference system?
I'm not against breaking into conferences if the Comp moves to 18, where during season teams play conference teams home/away, and non conference teams once. The obvious negative is the non Sydney conference has a reasonable gripe regarding additional travel. Perhaps a payoff regarding that travel issue could be that, instead of non conference games being 4 at home and for away, the Sydney conference teams must play 5 of the 8 non Sydney teams AWAY, 2 at home and 1 rural. Thus reducing non Sydney team travel and increasing Sydney team travel to more equitable levels.
Re finals, no way in the world should they go to a system where GF can only be Non-Sydney v Sydney. I know it works well in the states, but the NRL MUST have a system whereby at the start of the season every single two team combination is a possibility of occurring.
Finals - Top 10 Perhaps, and I haven't run the full Ice Finals system development software over this yet, but at a pinch, reward for topping conference is auto progression to week two, with the team with the best win/loss being seeded 1, the other 2.
Teams 2 and 3 in each conference play their opposite conference number, for a final 8 ranking position. I.e 2 v 2 (winner ranked 3, loser ranked 4) 3 v 3 (winner 5/loser 6)
Teams 5 plays team 6 in own conference in wildcard knockout. Winners file position 7 and 8 based on regular season win/loss. So In the non-Sydney conference 5 v 6, (assume 6 upset 5) and 5 beat 6 in Sydney conference, but 6 in the non Sydney conference had the better home/away win loss, they get ranked 7 in week 2.
From there, play out the usual,Final 8 system based on rankings. The accounts and Tv will love it due to additional finals games.
Or, more simply, scrap all that, and just run the normal top 8 based on win/loss for/against. Bringing both conferences together to begin finals.