To be fair though, the fact that the 1st place team plays team 8 and gets home ground, that in itself is a huge advantage given team 8 generally comes into the finals with a 50% season record. Therefore if team 1 loses to team 8 they have nobody but themselves to blame
It's just this year the Dragons were a bit unlucky in that the 8th placed team was probably playing the best footy of all of the top 8 teams coming into the finals.
What is so bad about the NRL finals system. I am a fan of it moreso then the AFL system. Of course all with have their negatives but their has been alot of discussion about this on the rleague forum.
Finals is cutthroat. Why should teams deserve 2 chances to play at home, if they fuck up the first week? The fact the Dragons were guaranteed a second chance regardless if they lost should be advantage enough. Also, if they won they were straight through to week 3, and home ground advantage.
They couldn't beat TEAM 8 on their home ground so they had to make a trip away. Too bad for them.