The Super 8s needs to show us its best over the next four weeks if it's to exist beyond an initial three-year trial period.

The new-look All-Ireland quarter-final stage was introduced following a vote at GAA Annual Congress in 2017. Eight teams were to be divided into two round-robin groups giving us, or so the thinking went, eight more high quality football games at the business end of the season.

We got our first look at this strange new creature 12 months ago and what we saw wasn’t pretty; one-sided games, defensive football, predictable results and even bad weather after what was one of the hottest summers on record in Ireland.

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The average winning margin across the dozen Super 8s games last season was 6.8 points. There were three double-digit hammerings and both Kildare and Roscommon failed to register a point.

In one group Dublin were assured of top spot after just two rounds and the promised ding-dong between neighbours Tyrone and Donegal with the second All-Ireland semi-final up for grabs turned out to be a disappointment, the Red Hand coasting through.

The Dubs have cruised into the last eight again

The other group was saved by the intervention of a teenage David Clifford, whose brilliant late equalising goal for Kerry against Monaghan meant there was something to play for on the final day at least, even if the Kingdom didn’t make it through in the end.

Interestingly, the new format in hurling which sees Leinster and Munster organised as two five-team groups was a byproduct of the birth of the Super 8s, a term coined by the Club Players’ Association and not loved or used in the corridors of Croke Park.

Hurling counties feared that their game would be swamped by all the big ball games and they agitated for change, which was ushered in at a GAA Special Congress in late 2017.

In contrast to football, this experiment has been a huge success in its first two seasons and is certain to be retained once its three-year probation finishes in 2020.

Cork are the lowest ranked team remaining

This isn’t to condemn the new football format however, and the 2019 Super 8s are something to look forward to, giving them a fighting chance of being voted in permanently.

Certainly the presence of Mayo will help as they are football's most compelling annual drama and their clash with Kerry in Killarney on Sunday is heading towards a 32,000 sell-out. Impressive, considering the biggest crowd outside of Croke Park last year was 18,000.

The tweak that allows provincial champions play their first game at home rather than at Croke Park is to be welcomed even if the GAA’s insistence that Dublin can play two games at Headquarters slants the playing field unfairly in their favour.

Seven of the eight teams involved this year either played in Division 1 of the Allianz League this year or gained promotion to play in the top flight in 2020. The odd man out is Cork, a team many have long believed to have been punching below their weight.

Roscommon are Connacht champions

In Group 1, Kerry, Donegal and Mayo appear to be fighting for the two semi-final places, with a potential winner-takes-all clash between the latter two in Castlebar on the final day.

Group 2, on paper at least, looks more clear-cut though Tyrone-Dublin in the last round could well decide top spot in the group.

The Super 8s are a good concept, leaving aside the fact that the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship is now run off as second-chance, knock-out, group-stage and back to knock-out.

If the football games can live up to their billings between now and the first weekend in August the new format has a fighting chance of staying with us beyond 2020.

Follow all the weekend's Super 8s action via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, watch Dublin v Cork on RTÉ2 and Kerry v Mayo on RTÉ1 and listen to exclusive national radio commentary on RTÉ Radio 1.