Power Rankings: History-making Wigan Warriors top following Challenge Cup triumph, Wakefield Trinity rise after 1895 Cup success

Ben Olawumi
Matt Peet, Sam Burgess, Daryl Powell

Challenge Cup winners Wigan Warriors (left), runners-up Warrington Wolves (middle) & 1895 Cup winners Wakefield Trinity (right) all feature in this week's Power Rankings having appeared at Wembley

Each week this season, Love Rugby League will be bringing you our Power Rankings, ranking the top 10 clubs in the British game we believe have the most momentum behind them.

The 35 clubs across Super League, the Championship and League 1 are all in the running to be involved, with solely on-field performance affecting the rankings (we’re not IMG!).

Our latest top 10 of the campaign is below, with all competitive games to this point taken into account.

For Super League clubs, that’s their performances across the opening 13 rounds and the Challenge Cup, in which the final was played out over the weekend just gone at Wembley.

Meanwhile, the Championship and League 1 seasons got underway in March, and clubs in those divisions had already played games in the 1895 Cup and Challenge Cup this year prior to that as well. The 1895 Cup final also took place on Saturday.

For reference, last week’s Power Rankings are here.

Without further ado, the Love Rugby League Power Rankings (10/06/2024)…

10. Rochdale Hornets (NEW)

Rochdale Hornets
Rochdale Hornets celebrate a try in 2024 – Photo Credit: Rochdale Hornets

Given that no League 1, Championship or Super League games took place last week, due to the break for Challenge Cup finals day at Wembley, third tier outfit Rochdale are the only new arrival. They didn’t play, but previously 10th-placed Sheffield Eagles did, beaten 50-6 in the 1895 Cup final by Wakefield Trinity, and drop out.

The Hornets make the cut as they’ve won five of their last six games, with their only defeat in that run coming against League 1 leaders Keighley. And notably, Gary Thornton’s side had been 36-12 down to the Cougars until the 55th minute, bringing it back to 36-30 before a late try sealed victory for the visitors.

9. Widnes Vikings (-)

Allan Coleman’s Widnes have won only one of their last three games, but sit 2nd in the Championship table having turned a 14-0 half-time deficit around in their last outing away at York, ending up 22-18 winners. The Vikings’ only two defeats in the league so far this term came both came away, against Featherstone Rovers & Toulouse Olympique respectively.

8. Hunslet (-)

League 1 talk has been dominated by Keighley & Oldham so far this year, but Hunslet have gone about their business quietly and sit 3rd after four consecutive wins. Having won 24-22 away at Workington Town in their last outing, the Parksiders are now on a run of five victories in their last six games.

7. Toulouse Olympique (-)

Benjamin Laguerre
Benjamin Laguerre in action for Toulouse Olympique in 2024

Back to the Championship, and Toulouse are 5th in the table, but only on points difference. The French outfit were 38-24 winners at Halifax Panthers last time out, and like Hunslet, have won each of their last four as well as five of their last six. Sylvain Houles’ side are making ground up quickly after a slow start to the year.

6. Oldham (-)

Sean Long’s Roughyeds may well have been happy to have a break after an off-colour couple of weeks. Having lost at Keighley in a top of the table clash, they scraped past North Wales Crusaders in their last outing, with Danny Craven’s last-gasp drop goal earning them the win there. Oldham remain 2nd in League 1 with a game in hand, and are 6th in our Power Rankings.

5. St Helens (-)

Spoiler alert: Saints are the last team who don’t move around in our Power Rankings. Paul Wellens’ side are top of the Super League table at the midway mark, ahead of Wigan on points difference, though their bitter rivals do have a game in hand. The Red V have won five of their last six games, including a 24-12 victory at home against Catalans Dragons last time out.

4. Warrington Wolves (DOWN 2)

Lachlan Fitzgibbon, George Williams
Lachlan Fitzgibbon (left) comforts Warrington Wolves team-mate George Williams (right) following their defeat to Wigan Warriors in the 2024 Challenge Cup final

Warrington were well beaten at Wembley, and a large part of their undoing in the capital was the fact they appeared to freeze. This was the first real marker of how much Sam Burgess has improved the mentality of the Wolves, and despite seeing that all year to date, we didn’t see any of it under the arch. An 18-8 defeat flattered them, and they move down in our rankings.

3. Keighley Cougars (UP 1)

League 1 leaders Keighley are the only side to move up in our rankings without playing, unless you count newbies Rochdale. Matt Foster’s Cougars won 25-18 away at Midlands Hurricanes in their last outing prior to the week’s break, maintaining top spot in the third tier as a result. That was their ninth win in 10 league games played to date this year.

2. Wakefield Trinity (DOWN 1)

Wakefield moving down a place isn’t any slight on their part, as we’ll get onto. Trinity were simply magnificent at Wembley in dispatching Sheffield, scoring 50 unanswered points from the 23rd minute onwards having been 6-0 down early on. It may ‘only’ be the 1895 Cup, but Daryl Powell’s side have been relentless so far this season, and that was no different on a grand stage.

1. Wigan Warriors (UP 2)

Wigan Warriors' 2024 Challenge Cup lift
Wigan Warriors lift the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2024 following their victory in the competition’s final against Warrington Wolves

Wigan simply had to be first having written their names into the history books oncemore with their 18-8 Challenge Cup triumph on Saturday. The Warriors joined a very select group of teams in the history of the game to be in possession of all four major honours at once, and did so in very comfortable style. They just turn up when it matters, that’s been the case forever.