Expanded finals series proposed for 2019 Westfund Ferguson Cup

BATHURST Bulldogs and CSU are still in contention for this year's Ferguson Cup minor premiership, but come finals time they may find themselves with an additional bonus.

The Narromine Gorillas had a 97 point win against Cowra-Canowindra this weekend and would be potential beneficiaries of a top eight finals system. Photo: Ben Rodin

The Narromine Gorillas had a 97 point win against Cowra-Canowindra this weekend and would be potential beneficiaries of a top eight finals system. Photo: Ben Rodin

With a four-team increase in 2019 there was always the suggestion a change of finals format might be necessary for Central West Rugby Union's Ferguson Cup, with two more sides set to be added to the post-season to form a top eight.

The idea has been proposed and floated to clubs and would adopt the top eight system used by both the NRL and AFL, with the advantage and crucial second chance given to the top four finishers.

While Orange Emus, who won via forfeit against the Dubbi Kangaroos on Saturday, currently top the ladder, the race for the minor premiership is still on.

Last year's grand finalists CSU and defending premiers Bathurst Bulldogs are still in the hunt, as are West Wyalong.

HOW IT WILL WORK

The side which does claim the minor premiership will be pitted against the fourth-placed finishers in the opening week of the finals, with second to play third as well.

The bottom five sides follow the same format, fifth versus eighth and sixth versus seventh, but those two qualifying finals would be elimination games.

The winners of the top four games earn a week off while the losers face the two bottom four winners in the second week of the finals, the semi-finals.

The two victors there move on to face the freshened sides in the preliminary finals, before the final two remaining outfits meet in the grand final on Saturday, August 24.

Outside the first week of this system, which would be played during the Blowes Clothing Cup's general bye, the finals are expected to follow the men's top tier's play-offs, in terms of hosting rights.

RESULTS | WESTFUND FERGUSON CUP | ROUND 12

  • ORANGE EMUS 56 def DUBBO KANGAROOS 0 via forfeit
  • CSU BATHURST 42 def MUDGEE WOMBATS 0
  • BATHURST BULLDOGS def ORANGE CITY LIONS
  • NARROMINE GORILLAS 97 def COWRA-CANOWINDRA 0
  • FORBES PLATYPI 97 def HARDEN SHEDEVILS 0
  • WELLINGTON REDBACKS 45 def DUBBO RHINOS 20
  • WEST WYALONG REDBACKS 47 def COOTAMUNDRA TRI-COLOURS 0
  • Bye: TEMORA TUSKERS

READ ALSO: