Super League mood table: St Helens rocked, Wigan Warriors soaring, Leeds Rhinos unstable

Ben Olawumi
St Helens, Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos

From left to right: St Helens, Wigan Warriors & Leeds Rhinos are among the most interesting positionally in our Super League mood table after Round 16

Throughout 2024, we’re attempting to gauge the mood across all 12 Super League clubs with our ‘mood table’.

Sure, the actual Super League table underlines who’s in contention to achieve what this season, but our mood table captures the feelings around each and every club in this precise moment.

It’s all relative, right?!

Each club’s actual league position is in brackets next to our ranking on the ‘mood table’ for context.

So without further ado, let’s get right into it…

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12. Huddersfield Giants (8)

Ian Watson
Ian Watson, Huddersfield Giants’ head coach

Not for the first time, it feels like Ian Watson’s position as Huddersfield boss is under huge pressure. Large sections of the club’s fanbase, understandably, are desperately unhappy with what appears is going to be another season without any success.

The Giants have won just one of their last nine games across all competitions, were thumped by Warrington Wolves in the Challenge Cup semi-finals, and lost 48-0 against the Wolves in Super League last Friday night – the worst defeat in this torrid run to date. Chairman Ken Davy felt compelled to issue a statement apologising to fans for that performance.

11. London Broncos (12)

The season started with nobody giving London any hope, but through that came a wave of the Broncos wanting to shine as brightly as possible on the biggest stage, and wanting to prove people wrong. In one sense, by winning a single game, they’ve already done that.

But in recent weeks, they’ve been absolutely battered on numerous occasions and just when you thought they might have a chance at Headingley on Saturday afternoon, they were beaten in Golden Point extra time. The reality of Super League is a harsh one, and it feels almost cruel that a squad with part-time players in it has to try and compete at this level.

RELATED: Meet the former London Broncos junior thriving in Australia with a Super League dream

10. Leeds Rhinos (7)

Chev Walker Leeds Rhinos
Current Leeds Rhinos interim head coach Chev Walker

Leeds dismissed Rohan Smith and in the same week picked up a much-needed win against Leigh Leopards at Headingley as the club paid tribute to the late, great Rob Burrow. At that point, even without a head coach, it appeared the Rhinos may have turned a corner.

But getting out of jail against London at the weekend, with many supporters already outside of the ground by the time Brodie Croft’s drop goal sealed victory, was a stark indication of another backward step. Whenever the new boss is appointed, they’ll have a hell of a job on their hands – there seems to be an apathy around the club at the moment.

9. Hull FC (11)

Hull may well be underperforming in terms of what their supporters would like to see, but from where they have been at points this season, there’s definitely been improvement. FC now have two wins on the board, and they haven’t been beaten by more than six points in any of their last five outings – only losing at Salford Red Devils on Sunday due to missed conversions.

New recruits have been brought in, signings have already been made for next season, and the Airlie Birds know that John Cartwright will be at the helm come the start of next season. It’s a pretty dire year this term, but there’s renewed hope for the future at the MKM Stadium.

RELATED: 11 conclusions from the weekend, including Hull FC’s improvement

8. Catalans Dragons (6)

Steve McNamara
Catalans Dragons head coach Steve McNamara

There haven’t been many times in the last few years that Catalans have gone through a bad spell of form, but it’s always felt like this was inevitably going to happen at some point this season having seen heavy change to the squad after last year’s Grand Final defeat.

That said, Steve McNamara’s side have eked out back-to-back victories – beating Huddersfield on home soil by four points and then surviving a Hull KR comeback at Craven Park to earn a win in Golden Point. Don’t write them off just yet, especially with that man in charge.

7. St Helens (2)

This is the biggest disparity between ‘mood’ and actual league standing, but we feel their positioning here perfectly represents Saints‘ season so far. At no point, despite being in the top two throughout, has the mood around the club ever felt a great one this year.

Sections of the Red V’s fanbase are unhappy with how Paul Wellens has them playing, and those frustrations seem to have been fuelled even further after a damaging home defeat to Castleford Tigers on Friday night. They’ve now lost back-to-back games for the second time this season, and looked lost for ideas at times in both games.

RELATED: St Helens make appeal decision on Moses Mbye ban ahead of derby against Wigan Warriors

6. Castleford Tigers (10)

Craig Lingard Castleford Tigers Alamy
Castleford Tigers head coach Craig Lingard

Given what he’s working with at Cas, we think Craig Lingard – taking charge of a Super League side for the first time ever this year – deserves a hell of a lot of credit. The Tigers have now avoided defeat in four of their last eight outings, showing the type of fight that a team in their position so desperately needs.

The win at Saints on Friday night will be remembered by their supporters for years to come, and it feels like a result like that has been on the cards for a few weeks – losing out by two at Wigan and then being beaten by a single point at home to Hull KR before the international break. There’s positive movement off the field at the moment, too, according to director Martin Jepson.

5. Leigh Leopards (9)

After the highs they reached last season, expectation grew for Leigh and they’ve far from hit those heights again so far this season – BUT that’s very circumstantial. The Leopards were simply plagued with injuries for the first half of the campaign, and it seemed like boss Adrian Lam – who was off-contract – was being linked with a move away every single week.

Now though, Lam has been tied down and players are returning. Results aren’t always coming their way, and the play-offs may not be within reach now realistically, but it seems like there’s been a couple of real plus points for the Leythers over the last couple of months. David Armstrong’s arrival in 2025 being confirmed has only helped with the feel around the club, too!

RELATED: The Leigh Leopards debrief – A returning trio, Aaron Pene’s impact, play-off hopes & a long-awaited LSV return

4. Hull KR (4)

Willie Peters
Hull KR head coach Willie Peters

The first side in our ranking whose position is the same as theirs on the Super League ladder after 16 rounds are KR, who have had a bit of a dip in performance recently – but still occupy a very good spot in the table. Until last weekend, when Catalans pipped them on Golden Point, the Robins had been getting by with showings of a lower level than we’ve become accustomed to.

And while that defeat to the Dragons isn’t ideal, Willie Peters’ side are one of four sides tied on 22 competition points at this moment in time. We reckon if you’d have offered them that at this point before the season began, they’d probably have taken it. The Robins seem like one of the ‘drama-free’ clubs off the field, too, which only helps their cause.

3. Warrington Wolves (3)

Wire were one of the harder teams to predict how they’d fare pre-season with Sam Burgess taking charge of a senior side for the first time ever, but so far, it’s going swimmingly well. Losing the Challenge Cup final will have hurt, and there was a bit of a hangover from that, but that’s over now and you struggle to see any huge dip between now and the end of the season.

In terms of Super League, Burgess’ side have not lost a game by more than eight points – and on a couple of occasions have shown just how capable they are of tearing a team apart. Beating Huddersfield 48-0 at the HJ on Friday night was one of the best performances yet from the Wolves, who appear to be in a good position off the field as well.

RELATED: Warrington Wolves duo in LoveRugbyLeague‘s Super League Team of the Week from Round 16

2. Salford Red Devils (5)

Paul Rowley
Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley

Two of Warrington’s league defeats this season have come against Salford, and the Red Devils are enjoying yet another superb campaign. Having Paul Rowley at the helm is a big reason why, and as long as that’s the case, it’s difficult to see the ‘mood’ around the Greater Manchester outfit ever sinking.

He trusts his players to play off-the-cuff rugby league, which – when it comes off – is as entertaining as any other team in Super League. They’ve now won four games in a row after Sunday’s narrow success at home against Hull FC, and look a safe bet to occupy a top six berth come the end of the season.

1. Wigan Warriors (1)

Top dogs Wigan are #1 on the Super League ladder and in our ‘mood rankings’. There are only so many superlatives we can use to describe what the Warriors have achieved on the field, but we can’t stress enough how well structured things are off the field at the club. Tying down superstars like Bevan French on new long-term deals exemplifies that.

Matt Peet’s side have now won their last nine games in a row after Friday’s win at home against Leigh, and that run includes the Challenge Cup final triumph against Warrington. They already hold all four major honours, and now have a four-point lead at the top of the table with a game in hand, so the League Leaders’ Shield looks nailed on to be retained.

You wouldn’t back against the Cherry & Whites in any game, especially when it comes to the big occasions.

RELATED: The Wigan Warriors debrief – Luke Thompson’s enormous effort, a new half-back pairing, Liam Marshall’s freakishly good finish