The biggest problem with the structure of the SS (and related comps) is there is no scope for transition. By this I mean that if a new club (whoever) comes into the SS, chances are they would be competitive against the bottom clubs but would get flogged by the top clubs. (As evidenced by Penrith over the years). This makes it hard to retain players and attract new ones when week after week you get beaten. Likewise if Penrith played subbies I have no doubt they would probably top the table year after year, go back to the SS and get flogged again, (not deliberately picking on Penrith, you could say the same about Gordon). The most sensible suggestion i have heard over the years was put forward by a wise old kiwi coach and he suggested the following: (bearing in mind this is when there were 1st div and 2nd div) Start the year with 24 teams, teams ranked 1-12 play in the 1st tier and teams ranked 13-24 play in the 2nd tier, teams in each tier play each other once. At the end of the first round based on ladder positions teams 1-8 from the first tier form pool A, 9-12 from tier 1 together with 1-4 from tier 2 join to form pool B and the balance of tier 2 form pool C. (New points and For and against at this point) Then the teams play each with in their pool once Under this structure the weaker teams can look forward to the second half of the year with some games against weaker opposition, (gives the players incentive to keep backing up). The top teams of the 1st tier (and the top teams of the 2nd tier) get to play the rest of year against better quality teams only and improve their rugby. (generally players dont like playing in 90-0 floggings) End of the second round play off with semis and finals etc. It gives the teams in the middle eight a chance to transition up and a chance to improve slowly (because improvement does take time) and equally teams that dont improve are transitioned down the ladder. Teams that finished in the top four of pool B start the next year in the top tier, likewise the bottom four start in the 2nd tier. THe big question are rankings based on 1st grade or club champ, given that in most cases the strength of a club is dependent on its first grade, i would go with the first grade results. As I am a strong believer in the concept of clubs playing together on the same day the lower grades would follow where the first grade ends up. Granted you will get some mis matches in the lower grades but ultimately the success of a competition is measured by the quality of the first grade games. I know there are fors and against such a structure but if we are genuine about growing and strengthening grade rugby in sydney I dont know how else we can sustainably achieve it.