The play-offs are the best thing about the Premiership

Ben Darvill

In sport, there are always winners and losers. From the champions of the Premier League in football to those relegated, the winner at Wimbledon to the runner-up; there are always going to be those left deflated, and those that are elated beyond their wildest dreams.

The Premiership play-off system could see the top team beaten at the semi-finals stage, with one bad game or one poor decision decimating an otherwise flawless campaign, and leaving all the good work of a side in vain.

Regardless, the play-offs are the best thing that happens in rugby.

Image Source: Twitter
Image Source: Twitter

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First of all, they are incredibly exciting. The prospect of the four highest placed teams in the country taking each other on in a winner takes all knock-out rounds is enthralling. The tempo of the rugby heightens, the hits get bigger and fingernails get bitten back to the knuckle.

It also allows the revenue of the four rugby clubs to increase even more, whilst allowing fans to bask in yet more rugby following the conclusion of the league season itself.

Above all else though, is the chance it gives to so many of the other teams in the league. Saracens have been in superbly consistent form over the last few seasons, winning the Champions Cup last term, reaching the final this campaign, winning the league last year and they are also still in with a shot at defending their crown this year.

The likes of Leicester, Exeter and Wasps have not been in trophy winning form for some time though, with Saracens dominating of late. Perhaps if the league system was without a play-off scheme, Sarries would have been higher up, knowing that only first place would do.

Image Source: Twitter
Image Source: Twitter

Instead, due to the ability in their squad and their confidence, they know that whoever they come up against, they can beat them.

For every other team in the league, but in particular the likes of Bath, Harlequins and Northampton this season, they would have still been incredibly driven to continue to push themselves in the league knowing that fourth-place guarantees a shot at the title.

Compare this with the football Premier League, many mid-table teams are accused of being on holiday weeks before the season ends because they have nothing to play for. In the Aviva Premiership, the fact there are four spots that could potentially result in glory means sides will fight tooth and nail to achieve a higher finish, knowing that first-place does not guarantee any team the title.

Much like the play-offs in the football Championship, this time of year breeds excitement. Anything can happen in a high pressure game, league placement means nothing and the crowd are assured of tense affairs with a winner takes all attitude.

While the play-offs may be unfair to a side that dominates throughout the year, the fans, second, third and fourth place in the league will forever be grateful for the added thrills, spills and outrageous tries the play-offs will inevitably produce.

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