Leeds Rhinos’ place on combined Super League table since last Grand Final win in 2017

Aaron Bower
Jack Sinfield

Jack Sinfield is congratulated by his Leeds Rhinos team-mates having scored a try in their Round 10 victory against London Broncos

It’s now well over six years since Leeds Rhinos last tasted success at a venue which, for a prolonged period in Super League history, was akin to a second home for them.

Between 2004 and 2017 Leeds won eight Super League Grand Finals – but that triumph over Castleford Tigers in 2017 is the last time the Rhinos were victorious and crowned champions. It seems, as things stand, that drought will continue for at least another year too unless their new head coach provides a miraculous turnaround in fortunes.

And in the seven seasons since that title win, including this year, Leeds sit some way adrift of the top four sides when it comes to points accrued and in a mid-table pack of teams which perhaps underlines where they have slipped to in recent seasons.

Here’s where the Rhinos sit in the 15 teams who have played in Super League since their last Old Trafford triumph in 2017.

Note: In 2018, when the Super 8s system was in place, points tallies were taken from the cut-off mark and the top eight split from the bottom four.

15-10. Widnes Vikings – 6 points (23 games), Toulouse – 10 points (27 games), London Broncos – 22 points (44 games), Leigh Leopards – 47 points (53 games), Wakefield Trinity – 99 points (149 games)

Hugo Salabio Wakefield Trinity Alamy

We’re starting with the six teams who have not been ever-presents throughout the last six-and-a-half seasons.

First up is Widnes Vikings, whose last season in Super League was in 2018, when they won just three games before the split for the Super 8s. Toulouse, who also had a solitary season in the league in this time period, are next with ten points.

There’s then a jump to London, who are in their second season in Super League in this period: 2019 and 2024. There’s then a sizeable jump to Leigh Leopards, who registered just four points in 2021 before much healthier returns in 2023 and 2024.

The last team in this list are Wakefield Trinity, who played all-but one of the seasons in Super League since Leeds last won Super League – with this year the obvious exception. They have 99 points.

9. Hull FC – 133 points (159 games)

Herman Ese'ese Hull FC Alamy
Herman Ese’ese in action for Hull FC in 2024

It’s important, at this point in proceedings, to point out that the nine Super League ever-presents in the time period mentioned have different numbers of games played due to the Covid-19 impacted seasons of 2020 and 2021, when the table was organised on a points-per-game average, due to multiple cancellations.

But first up, it’s Hull FC. They haven’t made the Super League play-offs since 2020 and that wait looks almost certain to continue for at least another year in 2024.

Their highest points return in this period was in 2019, when a haul of 30 points got them to sixth place.

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8. Castleford Tigers – 140 points (160 games)

Craig Lingard Castleford Tigers Alamy
Castleford coach Craig Lingard celebrates Tigers’ first win of Super League 2024 with Liam Horne (left) and Sylvester Namo (right)

Next, it’s Castleford Tigers – who have endured a slide down the Super League table not too dissimilar to Hull FC in recent seasons.

Almost half of their points tally since 2017 came in the two seasons immediately after they made the Grand Final, with hauls of 31 and 30 points in 2018 and 2019. Since then, things have been somewhat tougher, and 2024 has been another season of struggle for Craig Lingard’s men.

8. Hull KR – 141 points (158 games)

Hull KR
Hull KR celebrate captain Elliot Minchella’s try away against Castleford Tigers in Round 15 of the 2024 Super League season

Just a point ahead of Castleford are Hull KR, whose Super League journey of recent years has gone in the opposite direction to the Tigers.

They spent the early part of this time period at the bottom end of Super League but in recent years, have enjoyed a real surge up the table. As recently as 2020, they got just six points: last year, they collected 32.

7. Huddersfield Giants – 146 points (163 games)

Harvey Livett Huddersfield Giants Alamy

Next in a tightly-contested mid-table, it’s Huddersfield Giants. Their total has been boosted without question by the impressive third-placed finish in 2022, in which they collected 35 points: almost a quarter of their total since 2018.

There have been some lean periods in and amongst though, and this season looks set to be another disappointing one unless there’s a turnaround in the second half of the season.

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6. Salford Red Devils – 152 points (161 games)

Paul Rowley Salford Devils Alamy
Salford head coach Paul Rowley

The Red Devils seemingly fluctuate from extremely impressive to disappointing. In 2018, 2020 and 2021 they registered no more than 16 points but in 2019, they collected 34 points and made it all the way to the Grand Final.

They’ve become a much more consistent force under Paul Rowley though and look set for another serious tilt at the play-offs in 2024. Sixth, you would argue, is about where Salford are in the pecking order in Super League – and it’s where they sit on this table.

5. Leeds Rhinos – 157 points (162 games)

Leeds Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos celebrate a try in 2024

Next up is the Rhinos, who fall just short of the one-point-per-game ratio. They’ve actually never registered more than 30 points in a single season since they last won the Grand Final, and have finished in the bottom half of the table on more than one occasion, too.

Can the new man at AMT Headingley turn things around?

4. Warrington Wolves – 182 points (159 games)

Paul Vaughan Warrington Wolves Alamy
Warrington duo Jordy Crowther (left) and Paul Vaughan (right) celebrating their Challenge Cup semi-final win with the travelling Wire faithful

Into the top four now – and the quartet of teams who go better than a point a game since the start of the 2018 season. It’s Warrington in fourth, with their one disappointing season coming in 2022, when they accrued just 18 points.

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3. Catalans Dragons – 191 points (157 games)

Catalans Dragons-Alamy

Next is Catalans who, in recent years, have moved up through the pack in Super League and emerged as one of the competition’s most consistent sides. Their points tally of just 16 in 2020 was not aided by the fact they only played 13 games, with most other teams playing 17.

They’re not quite at the heights of recent seasons in 2024, but are firmly in the mix for the play-offs once again.

2. Wigan Warriors – 226 points (162 games)

Tyler Dupree, Matt Peet

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the competition’s two true heavyweights who sit in the top two positions on this table: with Wigan Warriors taking second spot.

Remarkably consistent for a prolonged period of time, they have turned healthy league positions into trophies aplenty under Matt Peet’s tenure too – and they remain on course for a clean sweep in 2024.

1. St Helens – 254 points (159 games)

Waqa Blake St Helens Alamy
Waqa Blake (centre) celebrates a try with his St Helens teammates James Bell (left) and Matty Lees (right)

But it’s the Saints who sit atop of this list, with an impressive haul of 254 points from a possible 318 since the start of 2018. That includes a remarkable haul of 52 points in 2019 alone, and 42 in two other seasons.

It’s perhaps the points hauls of Wigan and the Saints which underline, really, how far off the pace Leeds are at this moment in time: with St Helens picking up almost 100 competition points more in under seven seasons. Can the Rhinos arrest that slide?

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