North Melbourne coach Scott Gowans copped the lopsided conference system on the chin.
“We knew exactly what the conference system was and what we had to do,” Gowans said.
“It’s not like it was made up two weeks ago.”
With two more teams to be introduced next year, the conference system could change yet again.
Gowans said he would support whatever model the AFLW wanted to implement
“There’s a lot of challenges with making up the competition and how it’s run,” Gowans said.
“It’s a tough job. There’s no way the AFL sat there and thought, ‘How can we not have the best teams playing in the finals system?’
“It is what it is.”
Fremantle coach Trent Cooper said he couldn’t help but feel a tad sorry for North Melbourne.
But the Dockers have also been short changed because of how the finals system has been formulated.
With the leaders of each conference earning hosting rights for the preliminary finals, the Dockers will miss out on a home preliminary final boasting the second best record in the competition.
Carlton (3-3) will top group B barring a huge loss to the Bulldogs on Sunday.
It means the Blues will host Fremantle (6-1) despite having a far inferior record.
Cooper was thrilled to see his side qualify for the finals, and he did his best not to focus on the negative aspect of not hosting a final.
“As a group we love getting away. It’s really good fun,” Cooper said.
“We don’t have the grind of travelling every second week for 22 weeks like the men do.
“For us it’s a bit of a novelty, and it’s a fun thing to do to get away together, so we’re looking forward to it.”