Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Best of the Australasian Elite 1995-2020

I wanted to show the historical best NRL sides as far back as possible. Unfortunately, prior to 1995 there were upheavals as team came went and amalgamated. It's been more settled since 1995, so the last 25 years will have to do. 

Changes since 1995: 

Melbourne Storm: Arrived 1998, Wests Tigers: Formed 1999, North Sydney: Left in 2000, South Sydney : Absent 2000-2001, Gold Coast Titans: Arrived 2007.                         

Points are allocated not according to participation, but rather, success. Only teams near the top of any given season are given points.  

The Melbourne side is still top although missing a few years. They were stripped of some titles for financial irregularities but no side took the mantles vacated. If a title is going to be stripped, then those below should move up. Either that or future punishments should be enforced, which happened as well. Seeing as the whole thing was so badly handled by the NRL in my eyes, I counted all titles won. 

Clubs from Sydney have fared better due to less travel and wealthy Leagues Clubs to back them. The NZ side has often been disadvantaged, typical of the way rugby league handles expansion. The club more recently been treated better but the ownership of late hasn't been as it should. 

Regionally, NSW has chalked up 60.7% of the points, with Queensland dragging up the rear on 16.3% They do have less teams and only one has performed well. In between them comes the Rest category, covering a club from the ACT, Victoria and NZ. Those three outfits took 23% of the total, thanks many to the Storm. 

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Best of the UK Elite 1961-2020

This is a very brief overview of RL in the UK over the last 60 years. If points are allocated based success and on not just participation, which teams have been the achievers? Within the UK game, St Helens narrowly takes it from Wigan. If the World Club Challenge is added, amazingly Saints and Wigan can't be separated, with 463 points apiece. 

Moving across to counties on the right of the chart, Yorkshire is the most successful with 44.4% of the total and 1,153 points. Yorkshire has more clubs so are ahead by virtue of that. Lancashire comes in on 40.3% and 1,047. Cheshire would be top if it was done as an average per club. For a small county not known as a RL hotbed, Cheshire has done well. 

France, Cumbria and London have yet to make a significant mark on a game based along the M62 motorway which traverses west to east across the north of England. 

Saturday, 28 November 2020

SL Teams Rated : 2020 Top Teams

The 2020 UK season is over, one that was for the most part without live fans. It was still delivered, albeit with not as fixture ladened as it would normally be. The top six are evaluated and ranked below.

6th: 52.94 win %, Hull FC (Yorkshire). 

They managed to gain entry into the finals series in 6th place, then pulled off an upset by defeating the Warrington Wolves. They then got eliminated convincingly by Wigan in the semi final. Earlier in the season, they made the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup. On the season as a whole, 6th is where they they deserve to be ranked. 

5th: 61.54 win %, Catalan Dragons (France). 

Fourth in the league, quarter finalists in the cup and semi finalists in the finals series, a grand effort. The travel they have to put in takes a toll and yet they competed well in all competitions. Could they have been ranked higher? I think this about right as they didn't get far enough in any competition.

4th: 70.59 win %, Warrington Wolves (Cheshire). 

Third in the league, with a good points differential. They made the cup semi finals but disappointing in the finals series, out at the first hurdle. A team that promised more and started well but failed to deliver as the season progressed. 

3rd: 58.82% win percentage, Leeds Rhinos (Yorkshire). 

Fifth in the league and knocked straight out in the finals series 14-26 by the Catalan side doesn't sound like a third ranked side, until we factor in a Challenge Cup final victory. They became more competitive as the season progressed I thought. 

2nd: 70.59% win percentage, St Helens (Lancashire). 

Second in the league and grand final victors (8-4) over Wigan and only second? Well, the cup quarter final exit was the difference. So runner up by a slender margin.

1st: 76.47% win percentage, Wigan Warriors (Lancashire). 

Wigan came through to take the league title, semi finalist in the cup and finalist in the grand final. The consistency across all three competitions makes them my winner for the year. Losing a tight grand final by a hair's breadth will be devastating, but they can take consolation in taking out this honour! 

Top half of league table below.

Rk Team Pl W L Diff Win %

1 Wigan Warriors 17 13 4 130 76.47

2 St Helens 17 12 5 274 70.59

3 Warrington Wolves 17 12 5 161 70.59

4 Catalan Dragons 13 5 5 117 61.54

5 Leeds Rhinos 17 17 7 -21 58.82

6 Hull FC 17 17 8 -31 52.94