Power Rankings: Wigan Warriors return to summit, Salford Red Devils on the rise, Hull KR fall

Ben Olawumi
Matt Peet, Paul Rowley, Willie Peters

From left to right: Matt Peet's Wigan Warriors, Paul Rowley's Salford Red Devils & Willie Peters' Hull KR all feature in this week's 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 16 rounds so far 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 (08/07/2024)…

10. Hull KR (DOWN 1)

Tyrone May
Hull KR’s Tyrone May appears dejected during their Round 16 Golden Point extra time defeat against former club Catalans Dragons

KR cling onto their spot in the top 10 after a 15-14 defeat at home to Catalans Dragons in Golden Point extra time. Despite coming back from 14-0 down to take that game past the 80-minute mark, it feels like this is a defeat that’s been coming in recent weeks for the Robins. A first loss in five doesn’t really paint the full picture, in our opinion.

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9. Oldham (DOWN 5)

Oldham are the club with the biggest ‘drop’ in this week’s rankings, but it’s through no fault of their own. The Roughyeds weren’t in action over the weekend, and have won each of the last four as well as 11 of their 12 in League 1 so far this season overall. We’re sure head coach Sean Long will have been pleased with results elsewhere over the weekend, too, as we’ll get on to shortly.

8. Sheffield Eagles (-)

Sheffield remain 2nd in the Championship and eighth in our rankings after their 28-0 victory at home against Halifax Panthers on Friday evening. Since their defeat in the 1895 Cup final, the Eagles have now won four games in a row – and Friday night’s success was the most convincing performance in that run.

7. Bradford Bulls (DOWN 1)

Mitch Souter
Mitch Souter in action for Bradford Bulls in 2024

Sticking in the Championship, and Bradford are perhaps slightly unfortunate to drop a place. They picked up a point on Saturday courtesy of a 12-12 draw in France against Toulouse Olympique, and have now lost just one of their last eight in the league. The Bulls are still in the race for 2nd, and they’d probably have taken that at this stage if you’d offered it to them pre-season.

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6. Toulouse Olympique (DOWN 3)

Speaking of Toulouse… they’re still above Bradford on points difference in the league standings after that draw and are above them in our Power Rankings, too. That was a better point for the Bulls than it was the French side on home soil, though. It’s now just one defeat in 10 for Olympique, with that loss coming away against league leaders Wakefield Trinity.

5. Salford Red Devils (NEW)

It wasn’t pretty at times on Sunday afternoon, but Salford dug in to earn a 22-20 victory at home against Hull FC, and having now won four games in a row, Paul Rowley’s side deserve their spot at fifth in our rankings. The Red Devils continue to embrace that ‘underdog’ tag, and you’d be silly to back against them making the top six in Super League.

4. Keighley Cougars (DOWN 2)

Carl Hall, Jack Miller
Keighley Cougars’ Jack Miller (right) speaks to Doncaster’s CEO Carl Hall (left) at the 2024 League 1 media launch day in January

In a similar vein to Toulouse, League 1 leaders Keighley drew 20-20 with Rochdale Hornets at Cougar Park on Sunday afternoon and that was very much a better point for the visitors than it was the hosts. Matt Foster’s side now lead the third tier by a single point, but Oldham have a game in hand. Not a positive weekend, realistically.

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3. Rochdale Hornets (UP 2)

And speaking of Rochdale, that draw keeps them in 3rd spot, now a point above fourth-placed Hunslet. The Hornets have enjoyed a tremendous few months, losing just one of their last nine with that loss coming at home against Keighley. Not many will leave Cougar Park with anything this year, and finishing third would be a great achievement if they can keep it up.

2. Wakefield Trinity (DOWN 1)

Wakefield drop down a place after – by their standards – a poor performance despite winning comfortably in the end. Daryl Powell’s side trailed Batley Bulldogs 12-6 at the break at Belle Vue but eventually maintained their 100% record in the Championship this term, 34-12 victors in the end. Week by week, an invincible league campaign looks more and more likely.

1. Wigan Warriors (UP 6)

Bevan French
Bevan French (centre) is congratulated by his Wigan Warriors team-mates after scoring a try in their Round 16 victory against Leigh Leopards

Wigan rocket back up our rankings to the summit having not played last week due to the international break, and returned to action on Friday night with a hard-fought 24-6 win at home against Leigh Leopards in the ‘Battle of the Borough’. They were made to work hard for it, but that win was the Warriors’ ninth in a row across all competitions.

Matt Peet’s side now have a four-point lead at the top of the Super League table, too, and still have that game in hand – which is also at home against Leigh in early August.

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