National Rugby League(NRL) teams that are ranked among the top eight at the end of the premiership season are allocated a chance to participate in the NRL Finals series. The winners of the series are named the NRL Premiers. Below is a detailed description of the NRL finals format.
How the Top Eight Teams Are Decided
The ladder positions are what determine which teams make it to the finals. Each team plays 24 games during the regular NRL season and are awarded points based on the results of each game. Two points are awarded for each victory and one point for a draw. For teams that have tied in points, for and against tiebreaker is used.
Where the Finals Are Played
The finals series are played on a home and away rotation that is based on states. The teams that are far from Sydney are usually allowed to play at home during the first three weeks. Teams that are based in Sidney have to play their games at the Allianz Stadium or Homebush to ensure that the maximum number of fans can be accommodated.
How a Game That Ends in a Draw Is Handled
In the event of a draw, the game goes into extra time in an attempt to find the winner. Finals cannot end with a draw, as is the case with the regular season. Before going to extra time, the players are given a short break, and a coin is tossed again to start the two five-minute halves. If the teams still tie, the golden point rule takes effect, and the winner becomes the first team to score.
The eight teams that qualify for the finals series are categorised in groups of four, the top, and bottom four. For the top-four group, the first plays against the fourth and the second play against the third. The first and second teams reserve the rights to host these games. Lowly ranked teams are not get eliminated at this point. For the bottom four group, the fifth plays against the eighth and the sixth against the seventh. The losers are eliminated while the winners play against the losers of the top four group in the following week.