Pitching a new Rugby League World Cup format which would end blowout scores

Much has been made of the Rugby League World Cup and the blow out scores within the tournament.

In fact many were critical of the scorelines and suggested that they were part of the reason for some attendances which also had people up in arms despite a steady average of around 6,000 during the group stage.

Despite the lack of competitiveness in these games, they were no doubt vital in the development of teams especially those who are close to the top sides but aren’t quite there yet such as France, Lebanon and Ireland.

So, how do you create the necessary competitiveness in the tournament but also keep the same development teams within the competition.

It’s important that there are as many teams in the tournament as possible. We have only just increased from 14-16 and it would be nice to see it develop further.

However, sticking with a 16 team format here’s what could do away with the blowout scores in the 2022 World Cup.

In this idea I’m pitching, there would again be four groups of four but there would be a top tier and a bottom tier.

In the top tier the eight best teams would battle for six of the eight quarter-final spots.

The bottom tier would see development sides battle for the remaining two spots in the knockout stages.

So, we would see three teams each from Group A and Group B made the final eight and one each from Group C and Group D.

The top teams in Group A and B would take on the sides from Group C and D whilst second in Group A would battle third from Group B and vice versa.

This way, the group stage would be full of meaningful games and there would be a chance for the best developing teams to take on the top teams in the quarter-finals if they finish top of their groups.

These groups would be determined by world rankings going into the tournament.

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