Sam Tomkins has waded into the debate about the Super-8s – and given it his full support.
The league structure has come in for fierce criticism from some quarters.
Wakefield and Widnes have no chance of making the top-four play-offs.
And figures from both clubs have called for sides to start on zero points once the Super-8s phase begins.
Salford’s Australian winger Justin Carney echoed that view – describing the current structure as “absolute garbage” – and some other players, commentators and fans also want changes to be made.
But Tomkins, playing in his first Super-8s campaign, has defended the system.
He said: “I know there are a couple teams now who can’t make the top-four, but you can’t keep everyone happy.
“People put a dampener on it, but if they’ve not played well enough all year they don’t deserve to make the top four. That’s the way it goes.” The Super-8s structure was introduced last year and sees the season split after 23 rounds, with the bottom-four peeling away and forming a new division – the Qualifiers – with the Championship’s top-four.
As they battle for Super League places, the top-eight sides play each other once more ahead of play-offs involving the top-four teams.
Under the league structure Tomkins last played in before moving to the NRL, there were 14 teams, no risk of relegation and a top-eight play-offs system.
“The way we have it now, teams are desperate not to get in the bottom four of Super League – that was exciting – and now they are in a real battle,” said Tomkins. “If we want more people watching this sport, we need more games that matter – and we’ve certainly got more games that matter now than we had a couple of years ago.
“Something needed to change from what we had, and the Super 8s was a good way to keep more teams involved. It’s definitely a step in the right direction.”
And Tomkins added: “I think no matter what system you have, you’ll have a lot of people complaining. We seem to have a sport where people moan, no matter what you do. You could make it a Super-6s, a Super-2s, whatever, there’d be a contingency of fans who don’t like it.
“The RFL are doing a good job and anyone who is complaining, just get on with it.”
St Helens will tonight face the RFL disciplinary to contest charges levied against Luke Walsh and Luke Thompson, which threatens to rule them out of Friday’s derby at the DW Stadium.
It was delayed 24 hours because a judge was ill.
Ben Thaler will take charge of Friday’s derby.