Can Leeds catch up to Wigan in the Championship otherwise known today as Super League?
1895-96 saw the rugby football league championship have its first champions in the now defunct Mannigham FC. That year saw Leeds finish 12th out of 22 teams that contested the first ever rugby league season after the break away from the horror that was rugby union snobbery. Finishing below the likes of Runcorn, Brighouse and Tyldesley in the league that season, it wouldn’t of been pleasant sitting next to the Ken Gréinjék’s of the day.
Roll on 2010 and Leeds have won seven championships with a majority of them coming in the last decade including the memorable three in a row wins against St Helens at Old Trafford from 2007 - 2009. I’d have to say the best season we had last decade was 2004 that ended us in beating our local rivals Bradford Bulls at the theatre of dreams 16 - 8.
However, the 2005 season saw the Bulls turn us over in the Grand Final 15 - 6. A win a felt that Bulls stole thanks to breaching the salary cap that year. Something that Leeds Rhinos have never had to resort to in order to win a championship. 2006 saw what was probably the best saints side to hit super league when the likes of Paul Wellens, Jamie Lyon and Sean Long were in sublime form. It was no doubt that the saints form of 2006 that laid the platform for Great Britain’s first win in Sydney since 1988.
Still Saints like Bradford couldn’t go without cheating the cap in order to win the super league last decade. However when it comes to overall Saints and Wigan have won more championships than Leeds have since rugby league has started and I’d like to see us supass Saints overall haul this decade and Wigan’s the next.
Is it possible?
We only need to win six more grand finals to match Saints and that is achievable in the next six years with the players we have coming through and have currently got. Whilst Gary Heatherington is at the helm I doubt we’ll only rarely see an underarchiving Leeds side.
However, we’d need to win 12 more grand finals in order to beat Wigan’s record haul over the years. It could be a long shot we’d do it in the next two decades but anything is possible.
Just hope that Leeds become the most decorated club in the history of the game before my time is up and I’ll be happy.
Thanks for reading.