Power Rankings: Wigan Warriors drop, St Helens rise, Championship trio included

Ben Olawumi
Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Wakefield Trinity

Wigan Warriors (left) drop in our latest Power Rankings as St Helens (middle) & Wakefield Trinity (right) both rise

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 first nine rounds and the Challenge Cup.

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 (29/04/2024)..

10. Catalans Dragons (DOWN 4)

So poor was Catalans‘ second half showing in their 30-2 defeat at Leigh Leopards on Friday night, it was a toss up between them, Huddersfield Giants & Featherstone Rovers as to who took 10th spot in this week’s rankings. The Giants are on the right track despite defeat at St Helens and Fev have now won three in a row, but the Dragons have hung on in there, just!

Steve McNamara’s side take this last spot on the basis that we expect Friday’s performance to be a blip. It’s very rare they turn in a showing like that, and are still second on the Super League ladder having won seven of their first nine.

RELATED: Ranking every Super League club by number of academy products fielded in 2024

9. Workington Town (NEW)

Jarrod Sammut
Jarrod Sammut in action for Workington Town in 2024

Cumbrian outfit Workington are the first of two new entries in this week’s rankings having thumped Cornwall 52-18 on Sunday to make it four wins in a row in League 1.

The only two teams to have beaten them in the league so far this year are Keighley Cougars & Oldham, the only two in the third tier with a 100% record. Workington have posted 30 or more points in each of these last four, and now have some good momentum behind them.

8. Widnes Vikings (NEW)

Had Widnes not lost at Featherstone last weekend, they would have been right up there in our rankings. Instead, they dropped out – perhaps unfortunately. The Vikings though are back with a bang after a thrilling 14-13 win away against Bradford Bulls on Sunday.

13-6 down entering the last 10 minutes, Joe Lyons crossed for a try with Tom Gilmore adding the extras and then kicking two drop goals to win it late on. A tremendous comeback from Allan Coleman’s side, who also won at Odsal in the Challenge Cup earlier this year. They have now won five of their first six Championship games this term, a tremendous start.

RELATED: 7 standout players in the Championship so far this season, including Widnes Vikings star

7. St Helens (UP 2)

Jonny Lomax drop goal
St Helens’ Jonny Lomax kicks a drop goal to earn them a win against Huddersfield Giants in Round 9 of the 2024 Super League season

Saints were nowhere near their best at home against Huddersfield on Friday night, but got the job done courtesy of Jonny Lomax’s late drop goal, securing a 13-12 victory having been 12-0 down. Champion teams grind out wins when they’re not at their best, but you get the feeling vast improvement is needed for Paul Wellens’ side to stand any chance of success in 2024.

Having lost two in a row to start the month, they ended with back-to-back victories and sit top of Super League after the weekend’s action, the only one of the top three to win.

6. Hull KR (UP 2)

KR were the team that beat Wigan Warriors, responding to their heavy defeat at Catalans the week prior in style with a 26-10 victory against the world champions on Friday night at Craven Park.

Willie Peters’ Robins deservedly move up in our rankings after that win, and they’ve now won six of their last seven across all competitions. We can’t put them any higher given how poor they were in Perpignan though.

RELATED: Hull KR act quickly to tie down in-form winger to contract extension

5. Wigan Warriors (DOWN 4)

Wigan Warriors
Wigan Warriors’ players appear dejected after conceding a try during their defeat at Hull KR in Round 9 of the 2024 Super League season

One defeat doesn’t define a team, but Wigan were the worst we’ve seen them for a long, long time in their defeat at Craven Park. The scoreline doesn’t reflect it really, but Matt Peet’s side never looked like winning the Round 9 clash. Having gone unbeaten from last July to the end of March, they’ve now lost two games in just four weeks.

Even with that considered though, given the ease with which they’ve dispatched the majority of sides over the last year or so, we trust they’ll rebuild momentum very quickly. Nobody can be perfect, after all!

4. Oldham (UP 6)

It’s difficult to have League 1 teams in these rankings because there are weeks when clubs don’t play. Oldham were one of those last week, which is why they’ve jumped up so many places this week having returned to action with a more than comfortable win at Midlands Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon.

Sean Long’s side scored another 44 points, but trailed 16-14 as late as the 54th minute, scoring 30 unanswered points from there on in to run away with it in the end. For the first time in the league this year, they had a bit of a stumble. It’s not bad when a stumble can result in you winning by 28 points though, in fairness! The Roughyeds are five from five in the third tier to date.

KEEP UP TO DATE: 2024 League 1 fixtures & results – Every one of the 90 regular season games listed

3. Sheffield Eagles (DOWN 1)

Cory Aston
Sheffield Eagles’ Cory Aston in action against Wigan Warriors in the Challenge Cup in 2024

Don’t let the fact that we’ve dropped the Eagles down by one fool you, these top three really could have been joint-first, with very little separating them. Mark Aston’s men have had a sensational start to the year and carried it on with a resounding 54-0 win at home against Barrow Raiders on Sunday afternoon.

Sheffield have now won all six of their first Championship games this season, nilling their opponents for the last two weeks. We’re sure they’ll fancy booking a trip to Wembley when the 1895 Cup semi-finals come around next month, too. Eagles, soaring.

2. Keighley Cougars (UP 5)

Keighley top the League 1 table as a result of playing a game more than Oldham have at this point, and that’s the only reason they’re above the Roughyeds in the rankings really. The Cougars’ latest win, their sixth in the league this year, saw them earn a 42-30 success away at Rochdale Hornets.

Matt Foster’s side were 30-12 up at the break at the Crown Oil Arena, and actually lost the second half 18-12 in terms of points scored. A bit like we mentioned with Oldham, that’s the first time in the league so far they’ve had any sort of stumble, so improvement is always going to be possible. Nevertheless, a cracking start to life back in the third tier following relegation.

RELATED: Ranked – The academies that have produced the most – and fewest – Super League players in 2024 with two League 1 clubs included

1. Wakefield Trinity (UP 3)

Wakefield Trinity
Wakefield Trinity celebrate a try in 2024

It’s a similar story in the Championship where Wakefield top our rankings rather than Sheffield because it’s they who top the table. Incredibly, it’s by the virtue of having a points difference better by two, which shows how well the Eagles have done to date. Daryl Powell’s Trinity were expected to blitz the division, and they have done so far.

Their latest win – by a 28-12 margin – came at home against Toulouse Olympique on Friday night in front of over 7,000 fans at Belle Vue, so things are going well both on and off the pitch. Tantalisingly, Trinity make the trip to Sheffield’s Olympic Legacy Park on Friday night (May 3), their toughest test yet this year, at least on paper!