|2015 Grand Final (Pic BBC)|
There have been a finals series every year since 1961, except for the years ending 1963 and 1964. There have been different names and formats but overall pretty stable. Up until 1973/74 they were designated the Championship playoffs. After that until 1987 it became a playoffs series leading to a grand final called the Premiership Trophy. The winner in this new competition wasn't considered the champions however.
In 1998, it became a playoffs series leading to a grand final and a return to the crowning of the champions. From 2015, a slight variance was introduced where teams had to go through a Super 8's eliminator before the top four played off to decide the champions*.
The result: I have allocated six points for a first, four to the losing finalist, two given those ejected in the semi finals and one point when the system involved an eliminator system. From this we can evaluate the teams that were the best in this competition.
St Helens really run away with this one. Their 1st placings aren't the key but rather their consistency in nearly always being in the mix come the semi finals and grand final. Courtesy of the 2017 victory, Leeds slip past Wigan and equal Saints grand final winning tally. Wigan are so similar to Leeds but with one less trophy victory. Then there is a noticeable drop down to fourth.
Now for some trivia:
Twenty teams have made the semi finals.
Fifteen clubs have played in the finals and there are twelve different winners.
St Helens and Leeds have both been winners twelve times each.
St Helens have been involved in 27 finals (out of 56).
St Helens and Leeds have both been losing semi (& elimination) finalists eighteen times.
Dewsbury is the only side to have won a final but not lost a final nor a semi final.
The bridesmaid club is Castleford, losing four finals and nine semi (& elimination) finals.
Featherstone has lost the most semi (& elimination) finals without making a final (4).
Widnes has the best strike rate, with no semi final losses and won six out of eight finals.
|1||St Helens RFC||167||12||15||17||1|
|13||Salford Red Devils||10||1||3|
*Any refinements needed or mistakes noted in that summation, please let me know.