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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