Power Rankings: Wembley-bound Wigan Warriors & Warrington Wolves rise, 5 Championship clubs included

Ben Olawumi
Wigan Warriors, Featherstone Rovers, Warrington Wolves

Wigan Warriors (left), Featherstone Rovers (middle) & Warrington Wolves (right) are all included in the latest Love Rugby League Power Rankings

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 11 rounds and the Challenge Cup, in which the semi-finals were played out over the weekend just gone as Super League action took a break.

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.

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

Without further ado, the Love Rugby League Power Rankings (20/05/2024)…

10. Doncaster (NEW)

Joe Lovodua
Joe Lovodua in action for Doncaster in 2024

Just four Super League clubs were in action over the weekend just gone, so we’re able to send some praise the way of more second & third tier clubs than usual. Doncaster, having won three of their last four, are the first of those. The newly-promoted Dons beat Batley Bulldogs 26-0 on Sunday, and are sat 7th in the Championship, level on points with the play-off spots.

9. St Helens (DOWN 1)

Saints weren’t in action over the weekend having already been knocked out of the Challenge Cup, but retain their spot in the rankings. One of four teams level on 16 points at the top of the Super League table, Paul Wellens’ side have also won three of their last four – most recently winning 60-4 away at Castleford Tigers. They host Leeds Rhinos on Friday night.

8. Keighley Cougars (DOWN 1)

Following relegation, Keighley had won their first six in League 1 before losing to Hunslet. They did respond with a win on Sunday as they ran out 30-10 winners away at North Wales Crusaders, but Matt Foster’s men made hard work of it, allowing their opponents back to 12-10 before running up the score late on. Accordingly, they’re down a place.

7. Widnes Vikings (DOWN 2)

Jack Owens
Widnes Vikings’ Jack Owens speaks to the press at the 2024 RFL Championship & League 1 media launch day in January

Championship outfit Widnes also drop down a couple of places having drawn 28-28 at home with Whitehaven on Sunday afternoon. The Vikings – sat 2nd with 13 points, three behind leaders Wakefield Trinity – will be more than satisfied with their start to the campaign overall, and have still lost just once, but had somewhat of an off day.

6. Sheffield Eagles (DOWN 2)

Another Championship team who drop down in our rankings are Sheffield, who booked their spot at Wembley last weekend, and may well still have been on a bit of a high, dropping back down to earth with a 28-10 defeat to Bradford Bulls at Odsal. Like Widnes, a very good start to the season overall, but a day to forget. The Eagles are 3rd on 12 points.

5. Featherstone Rovers (NEW)

Perhaps because of how they blitzed the league last year – prior to play-off failure -, we’ve overlooked Featherstone up until this point. James Ford’s side have now won five in a row though, with their latest victory a comfortable 46-12 win at Dewsbury Rams, and they’re now level on points with Sheffield, sat 4th on points difference.

4. Warrington Wolves (UP 2)

Warrington Wolves
Warrington Wolves celebrate a try during their Challenge Cup semi-final victory against Huddersfield Giants

Sam Burgess has enjoyed a sublime first few months in charge at Warrington, and they put in a dominant display to swipe aside Huddersfield Giants on Sunday afternoon, booking a first trip to Wembley since 2019 with a 46-10 win in the Challenge Cup semi-finals. They’ve tasted just three defeats in 2024, two of those against Catalans Dragons, who they face again this weekend.

3. Wakefield Trinity (DOWN 2)

Wakefield’s 100% record in the Championship is in tact, but the 46-22 scoreline against Swinton Lions on Sunday didn’t exactly paint the full picture, with Daryl Powell’s Trinity trailing until circa the 52-minute mark. By their standards this year, that’s a disappointment. Nonetheless, they’re in a tremendous position and realistically could go unbeaten in the league all season.

2. Wigan Warriors (UP 1)

Hull KR thumped Wigan earlier this month in Super League, so to return and bat the Robins off as comfortably as they did in Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final is testament to just how good this Wigan team is. They rise in our rankings having booked a first trip to Wembley since 2017 via a 38-6 victory, with the quadruple still very much a possibility.

1. Oldham (UP 1)

Joe Wardle Oldham Alamy
Oldham player-coach Joe Wardle at the 2024 League 1 season launch

Sean Long’s Roughyeds look to have clicked into gear, and remain the only side with a 100% record in League 1 having won seven from seven. The latest of those was a 42-0 demolition of Cornwall away from home on Sunday afternoon, with 30 unanswered second half points. 2nd-placed Keighley are on the agenda this weekend coming, their toughest test of 2024, at least on paper.