The Courier-Mail

HEAD GULL NO FAN OF FOR­MAT

- CHRIS GARRY

WYN­NUM Manly coach Jon Buchanan has slammed the “ter­ri­ble’’ In­trust Su­per Cup fi­nals se­ries as one of the worst for­mats in rugby league.

With the in­tro­duc­tion of the Black­hawks as the 14th team this year, the QRL moved from a five-team play­off se­ries to a six-team fi­nals.

Teams one and two have a bye in week one while the re­main­ing teams face off in elim­i­na­tion fi­nals. That means third-placed Ip­swich and fourth-placed Wyn­num could be out af­ter one game.

The Seag­ulls face arch ri­vals Easts at home to­mor­row in what prom­ises to be another bru­tal en­counter.

“This top six is one of the worst sys­tems I have seen,” Buchanan said. “It is ter­ri­ble and I know most of the coaches feel that way.

“It should have been a top eight or stay with the top five. It is a shame the Jets in third could be out this week­end. There is lit­tle dif­fer­ence be­tween fin­ish­ing third or sixth.’’

The Seag­ulls will be with­out prop Tim Na­tusch this week­end af­ter he was sus­pended for a week for con­trary con­duct af­ter he lashed out in a tackle.

Tigers coach Craig Inge­brigt­sen ad­mits he is ner­vous about to­mor­row’s elim­i­na­tion fi­nal with Wyn­num Manly, con­cerned his team is “run­ning out of gas”.

Inge­brigt­sen said his team was run­ning tired, with key back­rower Troy Giess forced out of to­mor­row’s game at Kougari Oval with a rib in­jury.

“We were re­ally poor last week,’’ he said. “We have to take stock of that and get out of the blocks quickly be­cause if not our sea­son is over.”

The win­ner will progress to a week-two elim­i­na­tion game against the win­ner of to­mor­row’s other fi­nal be­tween Ip­swich and North­ern Pride.

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