Luke Robinson has given the thumbs-up to the new Super 8s format, writes James Horsfall.
The top-four play-off semi-final spots have already been confirmed with two Super 8s fixtures to spare, with Robinson’s Giants joining Leeds, Wigan and St Helens in the battle to reach the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday, October 10.
But even though Castleford, Warrington, Catalans and Hull are out of the running, Robinson still feels the remaining two rounds will create a lot of interest, particularly with the top four jostling for the top two finishing spots and home advantage in the semi-finals.
And the experienced Huddersfield hooker is aware that makes the third-placed Giants’ trip to Hull FC tomorrow night vitally important.
“I like the concept personally and it certainly brings a lot of excitement,” said Robinson.
“In the league this year it felt like the slogan ‘every minute matters’ was spot-on, and I think that that’s the way the game should be.
“Some people may not like it that it’s only a top-four play-off and teams such as Warrington now have nothing to play for, but what the new format certainly gives teams is the incentive. Gone are the days of the top eight where you could lose more games than you win.
“If you lose more games than you win then you shouldn’t be in with a chance of winning the competition and that’s what was created – mediocrity. You could be a mediocre team all the way through the season and then perform brilliantly at the last minute and go on and win it, and that didn’t sit well with me.
“I just feel like teams need to play well week in, week out and be consistent and earn the right to be called Super League champions. I think getting in the top four holds more merit within the league structure and every game building up to the play-offs, so I’m all for the new format.
“Whoever is in the top four deserves to be there. Whoever you play in that top four – they are there on merit and are going to be dangerous opposition.
“You’re coming up against the four best sides in the country and in Europe, so it’s not going to be an easy game to get to the Grand Final. You’re only 80 minutes from getting to one, and that’s going to be really interesting."