Tuesday, 20 February 2018

UK Elite Teams By Season : 1998

Regarding changes for the third SL season, the Oldham Bears and Paris St Germain had left the league, replaced by Hull FC and Huddersfield. No side was to relegated this year, as the number of teams was to increase from 12 to 14.

The League.  The top five were to go into the finals series. They were the Wigan Warriors (42 points), Leeds Rhinos (38), Halifax Blue Sox (36), St Helens RLFC (29) and the Bradford Bulls (24). Huddersfield came last with just 4 points. Ouch.

The Challenge Cup. Taking up the action in the quarter finals, the results were as follows (home team listed first). London Broncos 46-18 Hull KR, Salford Reds 41-10 Hull Sharks (FC), Castleford Tigers 22-32 Sheffield Eagles and finally Wigan 20-22-10 St Helens.

In the first semi final the Sheffield Eagles defeated the Salford Reds 22-18. The other was much easier as Wigan overran London 38-8. This was to be a win to Wigan but no one told the Sheffield team. In front of over 60,000 fans, Sheffield shocked the RL world with a 17-8 victory. One for the record books and it stopped a rampant Wigan from securing the treble. (see match below).

The Finals. In the elimination game, Saints were too good for Bradford, winning 46-24. The qualifying match Leeds overcame Halifax 13-6. In the next round eliminator, Halifax were shown the door by St Helens, going down in a high scoring affair 30-37. The qualifying match that weekend, Wigan powered into the final, defeating Leeds 17-4.

Leeds had to then earn a final spot against Saints. This they achieved, winning impressively 44-16. So Wigan and Leeds met in the grand final game. 43,500 came to Old Trafford to see Wigan lift the trophy with a tight 10-4 victory.

Summary. Wigan took the league and grand final and were in the cup final. That's enough to comfortably make them the team of the year with 56 points. Next were Leeds (34 points) who were second in the league and losing grand finalists. St Helens (32) were next then Sheffield as cup winner fourth on 29 points.

Rk Team Lge CC Fin Total

1 Wigan 20 16 20 56

2 Leeds 18
16 34

3 St Helens 14 6 12 32

4 Sheffield 9 20

5 Halifax 16
8 24

6 London 10 12

7 Salford 6 12

8 Castleford 11 6

9 Bradford 12
4 16

10 Hull FC 8 6

11 Warrington 7


12 Hull KR

13 Huddersfield 5


Total 136 60 84 280

The 1997 season can be accessed by clicking here.
The 1999 season can be viewed by clicking here.

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