Power Rankings – August 22nd

1. Castleford Tigers (0)

It was a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ for Castleford, but they wrapped up the League Leaders’ Shield in style with a comprehensive win over Wakefield.

The enormity of Castleford’s accomplishment has been argued fiercely, but what can’t be disputed is that their capture of the Shield proves they are the most consistent team in the competition.

While bigger challenges remain, their capture of silverware is a sign they can compete on the big stage.

2. Hull Kingston Rovers (+1)

Another week passes by, and Hull Kingston Rovers are another step closer to Super League.

Victory over London was the latest success for Tim Sheens’ side, who are now just two points off securing their return to the top table at the first attempt.

Doing so would be a superb accomplishment.

3. Dewsbury Rams (+1)

The Rams are on the charge.

Neil Kelly’s revitalised side picked up a fifth straight victory that has all but secured them their place in the Championship Shield semi-finals.

Considering where they were, that would be an extraordinary achievement.

4. Leeds Rhinos (+3)

They sent the South Stand off in style with a win over Saints, and as a result, they have strengthened their grip on a top two spot and home advantage in the play-offs.

Three wins from their final four games would secure just that.

5. Wigan Warriors (+3)

All year, coaches and players harp on about peaking at the right time.

It is one of the most used phrases in the game. If you ever wondered what it means, Wigan are a prime example.

Another victory, this time over Salford, leaves them a point off the play-offs ahead of their Challenge Cup Final involvement at the weekend.

Having looked out of the running all year, they could yet achieve so much this year.

6. Hull FC (-4)

There might be enough evidence to suggest a subpar performance before the Challenge Cup Final is the norm, but it doesn’t do much to soften the blow Hull FC suffered as they got hammered by Huddersfield last week.

The defeat leaves them adrift of Leeds in second place, but more so without good preparation going into the Wembley showpiece.

7. Warrington Wolves (-2)

Warrington’s drop may come as a surprise, but they failed to reach expectations in their win over Halifax.

Credit should go to Halifax for their gutsy display, but the Wolves were flat by their own standards.

Still, they’re three from three and closing in on securing their Super League status.

8. Barrow Raiders (New entry)

The Raiders have hit some great form recently and deservedly enter the top ten again.

Paul Crarey’s side retained second place with a hard-fought win over York and have now won eight of their last nine games.

9. St Helens (-3)

Back-to-back defeats have damaged Saints’ top four hopes, and their ranking in this list.

Defeats to Hull FC and Leeds must go down as missed opportunities for Justin Holbrook’s side, who could have feasibly won both games.

But they haven’t, and now they’re out of the play-off places.

10. Widnes Vikings (New entry)

After back-to-back wins over Championship opposition, Widnes make the top ten.

The victories shouldn’t come as a huge surprise but the manner in which they have done so is impressive.

With players returning, Widnes look in a good place.