To be clear on this, more Premiers win QF’s than lose them.I think he’s saying there is evidence that losing a QF actually may increase your chance of winning the Premiership. And if Premierships are the number one goal then why would a QF loss be regarded as a negative...
I think there are logical reasons why a QF loss can help. If you’re coming into finals off a decent winning streak, it means you don’t need to continue extending that streak to 7,8,12 etc....for a flag... you just need to win 3 in a row - relatively simple for a top team.
It ensures no complacency .. ala Tigers of 2018. Hindsight says a QF loss would have been a huge benefit.
Lynch was passed fit for 2020 QF .... but Tigers didn’t play him just to be 110% sure he got through entire finals series .....and happy if we lost that Edwards, Houli, Astbury, Prestia got another weeks match fitness. We weren’t trying to lose by any stretch ... but knew we were probably not much worse off with a loss than a win, and so it proved.
You learn more from a loss than a win ... so a return match against same opponent is traditionally reversed.
And so on .....
So if a QF loss in many instances actually helps, it’s hard to argue it as a negative.
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But for those who lose a QF and advance to the GF, more win the GF than lose.
As I reason when I back into yet another car in a supermarket carpark, if I have the insurance there, I may as well use it from time to time.
I do think in 2020 in a shortened season with a pre-finals bye, shortened games a week apart, and players who needed game time, and wanting Lynch to be 100% right, that Richmond were barely bothered by their QF loss in 2020. You can see how it may have worked in their interests.
Hawks in 2015 I am less sure about. The other earlier ones I have no real idea about Brisbane in 2003, but I think the Swans-Eagles QF/GF reversals in 2005-6 were just genuine results.