Next month’s issue of Rugby League World will, amongst other brilliant content, feature a lively debate on which of Super League’s three treble-winning teams was the best.
We make a case for each of them, although the final decision rests with you, the reader – as always!
But, to whet the appetite ahead of that must-read article, we’re stoking the flames and attempting to pick our all-time 13 from those three sides: Bradford’s 2003 bunch, the St Helens class of 2006 and this year’s Leeds Rhinos side.
Who makes the cut, and who just misses out? It’s been a tough call in the TotalRL.com office to whittle it down – but here’s what we’ve gone for.
Below are the teams that played in all of the Grand Final winning teams from each year – along with a few notable absentees (due to injury or selection). From there, we’ve gone with the best 13 we could come up with – using the interchange players too if applicable.
It’s also important to note that players playing in the same position (eg. left wing or stand-off) cannot be picked in an alternative position (eg. right wing or scrum-half). So to that end, Lesley Vainikolo and Ryan Hall cannot BOTH get in the team, for example – nor can Sean Long and Danny McGuire.
We have also taken each individual on their form in the treble-winning year ALONE – not throughout their entire career.
Bradford: Reardon; Vaikona, Withers, Hape, Vainikolo; Pratt, Deacon; Fielden, Lowes, Vagana, Peacock, Gartner, Forshaw.
Subs: Anderson, Radford, Pryce, Paul.
Notable absentees: Gilmour, Naylor, Langley
Coach: Brian Noble
St Helens: Wellens; Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Meli; Pryce, Long; P Anderson, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Wilkin, Hooper.
Subs: Fa’asavalu, Graham, Bennett, Roby.
Notable absentees: Fozzard, V Anderson, Sculthorpe.
Coach: Daniel Anderson
Leeds: Hardaker; Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; Garbutt, Burrow, Peacock, Ablett, Delaney, Singleton.
Subs: Leuluai, Cuthbertson, Keinhorst, Walters.
Notable absentees: Jones-Buchanan, Aiton, Ward.
Coach: Brian McDermott
|The best treble-winning team ever?|
|Zak Hardaker (Leeds)|
|Tom Briscoe (Leeds)|
|Jamie Lyon (St Helens)|
|Shontayne Hape (Bradford)|
|Lesley Vainikolo (Bradford)|
|Leon Pryce (St Helens)|
|Sean Long (St Helens)|
|Stuart Fielden (Bradford)||Keiron Cunningham (St Helens)||Jamie Peacock (Leeds)|
|Jamie Peacock (Leeds)||Lee Gilmour (St Helens)|
|Adam Cuthbertson (Leeds)|