Super League’s three divisions

Upfront: The League Express opinion – Mon 19th April 2021

This season’s Betfred Super League competition is only three rounds old.

But already it appears to be splitting into three possible divisions.

At the top of the tree are five unbeaten clubs, four of them on six points, or perhaps we should say 100 per cent. They are St Helens, Wigan, Catalans and Castleford, with Hull FC just behind them on five points.

Then we have Warrington on three points and Hull KR and Leeds both on two points, or 33.3 per cent.

And bringing up the rear are Huddersfield, Leigh, Salford and Wakefield, who are all on zero points, or zero per cent.

With only three games played, it is certainly too early to be making firm judgements about how the 2021 season will unfold.

But it has to be a source of some worry to Super League officials, and the organisation’s interim Chairman Ken Davy, that there are few if any shock results in the competition.

If fans believe they know the outcome of a match before it is played, then they are unlikely to turn up in huge numbers. Unfortunately, Super League’s long search for a competition of equals, which it has been seeking ever since its inaugural season in 1996, seems to be no nearer a solution.

The salary cap was supposed to help achieve that aim, but it has failed spectacularly, leaving us to wonder whether it actually serves any useful purpose.

With only four clubs having won the Super League title in 25 years, it is little wonder that we see little evidence of the game widening its audience, while, when it was given the chance to do so, it summarily turned its back on expansion in Toronto.

Meanwhile we are now seeing matches scheduled to kick off at 7.30pm on Sunday evenings, which has posed a unique problem for us at League Express.

We currently have an 8.00pm print slot that unfortunately is inflexible, meaning that we are unable to carry a report of last night’s game between York City Knights and Sheffield Eagles.

Unfortunately that is unavoidable, but readers can find a full report of the game in the digital version of League Express and on the website.

We hope you will bear with us as we negotiate this rather tricky problem.

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.