The last 7 sides to be bottom of Super League at Easter & what happened next

Aaron Bower

Easter has been and gone – which means the Super League table is starting to take shape.

For some, that’s great news, particularly those at the summit including the likes of St Helens, Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons, who have all enjoyed strong starts to 2024.

For others, that’s less of a positive. This year, it’s London Broncos who are at the foot of the table as we come out of the long Bank Holiday weekend – and while IMG will obviously decide who stays up and who goes down this year, the Broncos will still hope they can get off the bottom by the end of the season, with the likes of Castleford and Hull within touching distance.

But how have the last seven sides – excluding 2020, when the season was postponed due to Covid-19 – bottom at Easter fared over the rest of the year?

2023 – Wakefield Trinity

As most will remember, things didn’t really improve all that much for Wakefield Trinity after eight losses from eight saw them sit bottom of the table at Easter last year.

They did pick up their form in mid-season and win a number of games to make things interesting but in truth, left themselves with too much work to do. That crucial defeat at Castleford proved significant, and they were relegated at the end of 2023.

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2022 – Toulouse Olympique

In 2022, it was French side Toulouse who sat bottom at Easter after a solitary win from the first nine games. Much like Wakefield the following year, they left themselves with too much to do, and were relegated back to the Championship after just one season among the elite.

2021 – Salford Red Devils

2021 was a slightly different year, with a later start due to the ramifications from the pandemic still impacting rugby league. That meant in 2021, there had only been two games played by Easter – and Salford were the side who sat bottom, after back-to-back defeats. They did avoid finishing bottom though, coming 11th ahead of Leigh Centurions.

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2019 – London Broncos

The fact London took their relegation fight all the way to the final game at Wakefield in 2019 underlined what a mid-season resurgence they had, given how they lost nine of the 12 games that took place by the end of the Easter weekend. However, they were relegated back to the Championship – and they didn’t return until this year.

2018 – Hull KR

2018, 2017 and 2016 were years in which rugby league had the Super 8s league structure in place, meaning finishing bottom at the end of the Super League regular season didn’t necessarily mean anything too significant.

In 2018, it was Hull KR who were bottom at Easter with eight defeats from the first nine, and they rallied to finish 10th by the end of the regular season. They then preserved their top-flight status by finishing third in the Qualifiers, avoiding the Million Pound Game.

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2017 – Widnes Vikings

Widnes Vikings started 2017 in disastrous form, winning just one of their first ten games up to the end of the Easter weekend and in truth, it was inevitable from that stage that they would finish the regular season in last place.

However, they peaked when it mattered, finishing second in the Qualifiers and avoiding any drama with the Million Pound Game.

2016 – Salford Red Devils

There is an asterisk attached to the side bottom at Easter in 2016. Salford won three of their opening eight games which, ordinarily, wouldn’t have had them bottom – but they did receive a six-point deduction for salary cap breaches in 2014 and 2015, meaning they were on zero points by the conclusion of the Bank Holiday weekend.

They finished the regular season in 10th – and who can forget what happened in the Qualifiers, when they saved their Super League status in the most dramatic fashion possible at Hull Kingston Rovers.

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