We’re three months into the Rugby League season. Let that just sink in for a minute.
It doesn’t seem a week since Warrington defeated Leeds at Headingley, and of course, things have gone a lot differently than we expected since then.
Finally, both the Super League and Championship tables are beginning to take a little bit of shape as clubs start to discover exactly where they are at.
April was a big month for many teams, for reasons both bad and good, and here are the clubs that felt the best, or the worst, of the month.
Was April the month that Hull FC proved they are the force that we were promised they would be?
Four wins from five is good for any team, but the teams the Airlie Birds have overcome makes their run particularly noticeable.
An away victory at St Helens was an impressive start to the month before they overcame Huddersfield. While defeat to Leeds was tough to take, with that defeat ending a five-game winning streak, they came back with a bang as they ended Wakefield’s own unbeaten run before ending a seven-game winning streak held by Catalans.
It means Lee Radford’s men are now third in the Super League, just two points behind leaders Warrington.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
Chris Chester’s men are more than worth a mention after a terrific month.
Three wins in four Super League games has seen them move to seventh in the Super League ladder, above local rivals Castleford.
Included in those victories is arguably the most staggering result in Super League’s history, a 62-0 drubbing of the mighty Wigan Warriors, which was simply unthinkable before the match.
Add progression in the Challenge Cup too, and it really has been a fine month.
On March 27th, Swinton were rock bottom of the Championship without a win to their name. Go forward just a month, and the Lions are eighth and just four points behind the top four!
It’s been an exceptional year for the Championship side, who are on a five game winning streak in the league. The run actually started in March as they defeated Oldham, but following a further win over Workington, they produced exceptional victories over Halifax and Batley to charge up the league.
Head coach John Duffy then signed a new long-term deal with the club that was celebrated in style as Swinton defeated Whitehaven again.
The less said, the better.
While the Vikings did manage to defeat Rochdale in the Challenge Cup, four league defeats in the month has seen them slip down the league dramatically.
Add to that injuries and potential suspensions that are hitting the squad, it might get worse still.
What can we honestly say?
The crazy thing for Leeds is that they actually defeated Hull FC, the only team to do so in 54 days and counting.
However, a horrendous home defeat to Hull KR along with reverses at the expense of Salford, St Helens and Huddersfield have seen them slump to the bottom of Super League despite Salford’s six point deduction.
It’s been a truly miserable year for the Rhinos.
What a shame!
The Bulldogs became Rugby League’s most popular team after their fantastic start to the season, which resulted in them moving to the top of the Championship.
Sadly, April has been a truly terrible month, with the Bulldogs suffering four consecutive Championship defeats.
Starting with a defeat at the hands of Oldham, John Kear’s side were then comfortably defeated by London.
Although they did defeat Featherstone in the Challenge Cup, defeats to Swinton and Leigh followed, which has seen the Bulldogs drop out of the top four.