With Toulouse picking up their first ever Super League win, we look at how every other promoted club has performed.
It’s the third time St Helens have been the opponents of a newly-promoted side’s first win.
The others were Leigh back in 2017 and Huddersfield in 2003.
Only Wakefield have been beaten first three times by a promoted side – Gateshead in 1999, Hull KR in 2007 and London in 2019.
Castleford, Catalans, Salford and Wigan have all been beaten first twice.
Toulouse are only the third promoted side to register their first win of the season against the reigning champions – the others being Huddersfield in 2003, also against St Helens, and Castleford in 2008 against Leeds.
Making their mark
A total of 22 sides have joined Super League, either by promotion on the pitch or otherwise, since its first season in 1996.
Just four of those sides have had to wait longer than Toulouse for their first victory – Huddersfield in 1998 (eight), Leigh in 2005 (eight), Crusaders in 2009 (13) and Leigh in 2021 (20) – while Widnes also won their sixth game in 2012.
Salford and Leigh have both joined three times, with the Red Devils remarkably winning their very first game on all three occasions.
The reigning champions have come unstuck against the newly-promoted side on now eight occasions – Salford v St Helens (1997), Gateshead v Wigan (1999), Castleford v Bradford (2006 – draw), Castleford v Leeds (2008), Salford v Leeds (2009), Leigh v Wigan (2017), London v Wigan (2019).
St Helens themselves appear to have developed a habit of losing to the newly-promoted sides too.
They have now lost to the new side on 50% of the 22 occasions, including in 2019 when they lost twice to London Broncos.
The new sides that haven’t beaten them in their first year – Huddersfield (1998), Hull (1998), Widnes (2002), Leigh (2005), Castleford (2006), Hull KR (2007), Celtic (2009), Widnes (2012), Hull KR (2018), Toronto (2020) and Leigh (2021).
Toulouse will be hoping that they won’t follow Leigh (2017) and London (2019) in beating St Helens and still being relegated at the end of the year in 2022.
List of newly-promoted sides’ first wins in a season
|1997||Salford||R1||4-0 v Castleford (H)|
|1998||Huddersfield||R8||28-6 v Warrington (H)|
|1998||Hull||R1||34-24 v Sheffield (A)|
|1999||Gateshead||R3||24-6 v Wakefield (H)|
|1999||Wakefield||R2||22-10 v Salford (H)|
|2002||Widnes||R2||31-24 v Castleford (A)|
|2003||Huddersfield||R4||36-22 v St Helens (H)|
|2004||Salford||R1||24-12 v Widnes (H)|
|2005||Leigh||R8||24-22 v London (H)|
|2006||Castleford||R3||34-28 v Catalans (H)|
|2006||Catalans||R1||38-30 v Wigan (H)|
|2007||Hull KR||R1||14-9 v Wakefield (H)|
|2008||Castleford||R5||38-20 v Leeds (H)|
|2009||Celtic Crusaders||R13||30-24 v Bradford (A)|
|2009||Salford||R1||28-16 v Celtic (H)|
|2012||Widnes||R6||37-36 v Wigan (H)|
|2017||Leigh||R2 (3)||24-16 v St Helens (H)|
|2018||Hull KR||R11 (3)||23-4 v Catalans (H)|
|2019||London||R1||42-24 v Wakefield (H)|
|2021||Leigh||R20||32-22 v Salford (H)|
|2022||Toulouse||R6||22-20 v St Helens (H)|