Bring back the Amco Cup and bring in more women’s teams

I wrote an article on here last year titled ‘A model for the future of the NRL’ and sent a list of all the teams from the NRL all the way down to the third tiers.

Some of you might remember, I also put together a season and the comments were mainly of a positive nature however there was a lot to digest.

In the comments there was nothing to indicate that my model is a bad idea or that it wouldn’t work although I’m just using the existing structures and just adding teams. It gave me some confidence that I’m on the right track.

One of the teams on my list was the Sunshine Coast Dolphins, so that is not too bad, especially when I thought of the Dolphins a long time ago when expansion talk was mainly about Perth. I am just saying.

Since then I tried to improve on my masterpiece and today I just want to send my new season model and discuss about my new Amco Cup and the women’s comp model.

But you will see other ideas that I’ve added in there that I’m not mentioning in this article, like the timing of the World Challenge Cup and that can be spoken about in the comments if you please, or I might write about it another day.

I just want to first point out my season model with 22 rounds, playing 21 games and four weeks of representative rounds and Amco Cup with the NRL eventually having 22 teams in the future.

Damien Cook takes a run in the NRL grand final

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

It could work without Super League however it would be better for Super League to align with the NRL as they have 12 teams, which means each team plays each other only twice and having a top-eight finals and representative rounds. Also with their Challenge Cup it might give the competition a boost.

This is where I thought the Amco Cup could make a return, starting during pre-season and returning during the State of Origin period or the representative rounds.

This means there will be club games on during this time but the NRL teams will be without Origin and international stars, which means if a lower-tier club makes the finals it’s their best chance of winning.

I admit it would be hard for the lower tiers to get anywhere past any NRL team in the pre-season but the NRL teams are usually at their weakest. Also because they are giving a lot of young guys a run and star players usually have short stints avoiding any pre-season injury.

So it’s their best chance but if they don’t win, hopefully the scores are not too big and there’s a few close ones.

Dylan Walker and the Sea Eagles celebrate a try.

(Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

The games will be played in quarters and have golden point. I’m not a fan of golden point during the season. I prefer a draw. However I do like the extra time and then golden point during the finals. But that’s my personal opinion and it’s been spoken about on here a few times so I’m not going to get into that topic today.

With this Amco Cup, it is just three rounds with the first round needing 31 teams from the NSWRL and country reps, QRL and NZRL.

Then the 16 winners will play against the top 16 NRL teams from the previous season. Now that there will be 17 teams and a possible 18th team joining the NRL in the near future, whoever comes 17th and 18th on the previous year’s ladder or anyone under the top 16 will play in the first round.

This would at least give the bottom NRL teams two games. However the beauty is there is no certainty but that’s also the bad point because organising the schedule is where it would be most challenging.

I would like to see the NRL versus second-tier teams taken to the second-tier team’s home ground, especially if it’s out in the country or in NZ. But that sounds like a logistical nightmare given the uncertainty of the competition and only a week’s preparation to get to these venues.

Mitchell Moses breaks away.

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The alternative option is to organise a neutral venue but that’s not going to get crowds. They could play the second round at the NRL team’s home ground or just simply not change the pre-season, which gives country towns a chance to watch two NRL teams play against each other.

That can be circled on the calendar with certainty but I did counter that with a road trip round that could be played in country towns and cities currently with no NRL team.

But that would mean no Amco Cup during the representative period, which means teams without their Origin stars risk six competition points during the season because of State of Origin players missing club games and State of Origin almost killing the season and crowds.

So I’m not sure the whole Amco Cup idea could work in the organising departments however it could be somewhat popular if the travelling part could be sorted.

My second topic I want to discuss is the NRLW because at the moment I’m not that interested except for the State of Origin match, which I have enjoyed watching.

Ali Brigginshaw of the Broncos is congratulated by teammates

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The season competition is played during the men’s finals and the competition only has four teams that I don’t support, mainly because I’m a Panthers fan and only the Roosters are the team to support because I’m a territorial fan.

My first idea is to have eight teams play 14 rounds playing on Wednesday nights plus a top five finals. However it would be a mistake to follow in the NRL’s footsteps and have the same as the men’s Sydney club.

So instead of the Roosters being the only women’s team in Sydney that most people dislike, I chose two separate Sydney teams: the Sydney Sea Hawks and the Western Sydney Wildcats.

They are affiliated with the men’s club but they have their own identity. You will notice in my women’s list I stole the Brisbane Fire Hawks.

That is because the West Brisbane Jets in the men’s could be a team in the future and the Eastern Suburbs Tigers could buy the Wests Tigers’ license if they go belly up and be the Brisbane Tigers playing at Suncorp.

West Brisbane could be playing in Ipswich and the Dolphins could be playing at the Sunshine Coast, taking a few games to Redcliffe, which leaves a disused logo that would suit a female Brisbane team.

I chose Wednesday night because it starts with a W and it doesn’t compete with the men’s game and would satisfy my Wednesday night twitch waiting for Thursday night footy. Plus there is nothing else on I’m interested in watching on TV.

Anyway, let me know what you think. Any added ideas are welcome.

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