Clubs to choose opponents in Super League play offs

The Rugby Football League have announced the new engage Super League play-off format, with the news that the highest-placed teams after week one will choose their opponents in the week three.nnAn eight-team play-off has been introduced, with teams playing in order of how they finish in the table in week one.nnThe system has been introduced due to the increase in clubs from 12 to 14 and so that bottom-of-the-table clubs have something to fight for after the removal of relegation. nn“This new eight-team play-off series is a tremendous development for the sport and the competition,” said RFL chief executive Nigel Wood. nn“It will create great drama and bring an added dimension to what is already the most exciting period in the season. nn“The increase in play-off places will also add more interest to the regular season by giving more matches added significance as clubs battle through the weekly rounds to give themselves a shot at the title. nn“By introducing the element that allows the highest-placed qualifier to select their semi-final opponents in week three, rugby league has once again shown it is a highly innovative and progressive sport.”nnIn week one, first will play fourth and second will play third, the winners going to week three and the losers having to fight it out in week two.nnMeanwhile, fifth plays eighth and sixth plays seventh, the winners progressing to week two and the losers being eliminated.nnThat means four teams will compete in week two, two of which will progress to face the two teams which revived a bye to week three; of those two bye teams, the one that won highest in week one will have the choice of which side it faces in week three.nnThe two winners of week three will then contest the engage Super League Grand Final in week four.

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