I have no issue with two pools of 9
Play each other home & away over 16 rounds in one season
And 9 rounds cross pool games
Combined table with Top 8
We are not far off a Sydney pool of 9 and regional pool of 9 today
Beauty of conference system is you get a big Sydney final & another with maybe two qld teams.
Dissolving conferences only for finals gives no point to having them in first place