Power Rankings: Wigan Warriors cruising, Sheffield Eagles flying high, Salford Red Devils rising

Drew Darbyshire
Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Salford Red Devils Power Rankings Alamy

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 fourth 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 first four rounds, also including Wigan Warriors‘ World Club Challenge triumph.

Meanwhile, the Championship and League 1 seasons are yet to start, so for clubs across those two divisions, we’ve just considered their performances to date in both the 1895 Cup and Challenge Cup. For reference, last week’s Power Rankings are here.

Without further ado, the Love Rugby League Power Rankings (11/03/2024).

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10. Wakefield Trinity (DOWN 8)

Daryl Powell’s side have dropped down eight places in our Power Rankings following their 14-10 defeat to rivals Featherstone Rovers in the Challenge Cup fifth round on Sunday afternoon.

It has been a strong start to their new era under Powell – but Sunday’s defeat to their neighbours will be a bitter pill to swallow, especially when they could’ve come up against a Super League side in the sixth round.

9. Halifax Panthers (NEW)

Greg Eden Halifax Panthers Alamy
Halifax winger Greg Eden on the charge

The Panthers hosted then Super League champions St Helens at The Shay last year in the Challenge Cup – could we see something similar this year?

Liam Finn’s side reached the sixth round of the Challenge Cup thanks to an impressive 62-6 victory over York Acorn, the only remaining amateur side left in the competition.

8. Batley Bulldogs (NEW)

After they dropped out of Power Rankings last week, Batley are back in the top 10 after reaching the Challenge Cup sixth round after grinding out an 18-14 victory at Widnes on Saturday evening.

The Bulldogs always seem to punch way above their weight, so wouldn’t it be great if they were drawn at home to a Super League side in the next round of the Cup?

CUP FEVER: Championship quartet in hat for Challenge Cup sixth round as Super League clubs enter

7. St Helens (DOWN 4)

The Saints have fallen down the pecking order this week, dropping down four places in our Power Rankings following their 24-20 defeat to Salford on home soil.

Paul Wellens’ side had a chance to go clear at the top of the Super League table after the opening month of the season – but they were the victim of a Red Devils comeback. They still sit second in the Super League table, behind Wigan on points difference, with the latter having a game in hand which is against Leigh.

It’s still been a good start to the season for Saints though, with their 2024 start amongst the six best in Super League history in terms of defence.

RELATED: St Helens and the six best defensive starts in Super League history

6. Featherstone Rovers (NEW)

The Rovers are a new entry in our Power Rankings after pulling off what some would class as an ‘upset’, beating big-spending neighbours Wakefield 14-10 in golden point in Round 5 of the Challenge Cup.

James Ford’s side will no doubt take a lot of confidence from that result, and given our Power Rankings is based simply around momentum, they’ve got to be high up on our list. Fair play to Fev, will they get a big home draw in the sixth round?

5. Leeds Rhinos (UP 4)

Rohan Smith’s side have moved up four places in our Power Rankings following their 22-16 win at Leigh on Friday, with the Rhinos having scored 22 unanswered points in the second half to win.

It has been a pretty good start to the season for Leeds – who many are dubbing as this year’s entertainers along with Salford. They sit fifth in the Super League table having won three from their first four games.

The Rhinos have also got one of the in-form players in Super League right now in the shape of Ash Handley, who has made Love Rugby League‘s Super League Team of the Week in each of the first four rounds.

RELATED: How Leeds Rhinos have revamped their attack to create an eye-catching style

4. Warrington Wolves (UP 2)

Matty Ashton Warrington Wolves Alamy
Matty Ashton applauds the Warrington fans

Sam Burgess’ side may have lost the opening game of the season in Perpignan, but they’ve since gained some momentum with wins against Hull FC, Castleford and, most recently, Hull KR.

It’s been a decent start to the Burgess era so far, with the Wire currently sat fourth in the Super League table after four rounds.

ANALYSIS: Belief in youth and the other key changes Sam Burgess has brought to Warrington Wolves

3. Salford Red Devils (UP 2)

Similar to Warrington, Salford lost in the opening round but have since picked up impressive wins against Castleford, Hull KR and St Helens.

Friday’s win ended a 44-year wait for Salford to win in St Helens, with their last victory there having come in 1980.

Paul Rowley’s Red Devils are currently sat sixth in the Super League table after Friday’s good win over the Saints, and third in our Power Rankings.

RED DEVILS: Five times Salford have defied the Super League odds in recent memory

2. Sheffield Eagles (UP 2)

Mark Aston’s Eagles are flying high, and they seem to be loving every second of it. Last weekend, Sheffield beat Batley to set up a mouth-watering tie against York Knights in the semi-finals of the 1895 Cup. And on Saturday, they beat Swinton to reach the sixth round of the Challenge Cup.

It’s been a belting start to 2024 for the Eagles, having beaten Doncaster, Newcastle, Midlands, York, Batley and now Swinton.

The Eagles are channelling their inner Sheffield spirit of 1998, with their (eagle) eyes firmly set on Wembley.

1. Wigan Warriors (-)

Adam Keighran Wigan Warriors Alamy
Adam Keighran in action for Wigan

It’s probably no surprise to see Wigan retain top spot in our Power Rankings after another win at the weekend, a 60-22 demolition of London Broncos in the capital.

It’s been a very good start to 2024 for Matt Peet’s side, beating Castleford, Huddersfield and London in the early rounds of Super League as well as their World Club Challenge triumph against Penrith Panthers. The Warriors have now won their last 14 games – their last loss coming in July 2023.

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