Hull KR coach Tony Smith has backed the decision to determine final league placings by points percentage, arguing that forcing clubs to fulfil all their fixtures would put players in danger.
As a result of the radical change, which is introduced with immediate effect, Catalans Dragons have been elevated from fourth to top of Super League despite having played three matches less than the three clubs they leapfrogged.
Wigan coach Adrian Lam claimed it would be hard to accept if his team finished below a rival who had played fewer games but Smith says the Rugby Football League has made a smart move.
Smith said: “To stockpile a whole heap of games to get the numbers across and put added pressure on player welfare, would be just crazy.
“What Catalans would have had to get done over the next coming weeks is dangerous.
“We don’t want to put players under undue stress in order to get the competition across the line so I think it’s a smart one. We’ve got to do whatever’s necessary, that’s the important thing.
“We’re all buying in and getting on with doing what we can to safeguard our game. I still think there is going to be a few twists and turns over the next few weeks.”
Hull KR remain bottom of the table but go into Friday’s round 12 fixture with St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium on a high after a stunning 34-18 win over Wigan, which halted a seven-match losing run.
They also pushed Saints close at Warrington a fortnight ago but Smith believes that performance will put the reigning champions on their guard.
Smith added: “I’ve got no doubt the fact that we competed with them for so long last time will be a motivator for St Helens and the new table will be a motivator for them as well.
“It’s another great challenge for us. They are probably the best team in the comp and they will want to prove that.
“We have a healthy respect for them but, when we put it together, we can challenge teams for periods of the game. Whether we can do it for 80 minutes, who knows, but we’ll certainly give it our best shot.”
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