Super League XIII

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Super League XIII
League Super League
Duration 27 rounds
Number of teams 12
Highest attendance 32,516
Magic Weekend Day 2(4 May)
Lowest attendance 2,112
Harlequins RL vs Castleford Tigers (20 July)
Aggregate attendance 1,674,809 Increase
(average 10,338)
Broadcast partners United Kingdom Sky Sports
2008 Season
Champions Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
League Leaders Saintscolours.svg St Helens
Man of Steel Saintscolours.svg James Graham
Top point-scorer(s) Wigancolours.svg Pat Richards (269)
Top try-scorer(s) Saintscolours.svg Ade Gardner (26)
Licences
Licence awarded to Cruscolours.svg Crusaders
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds
< 2007 Seasons 2009 >

Engage Super League XIII was the official name, due to sponsorship, for the 2008 Super League season by Engage Mutual.[1] Twelve teams competed for the Minor Premiership over 27 rounds (including Millennium Magic) after which, the top 6 finishing teams entered the play-offs where they competed for a place in the Grand Final and the chance to win the Super League Trophy.

The Castleford Tigers took the place of the Salford City Reds who finished last in the Super League in 2007 and were therefore relegated.

The season kicked off on Saturday 2 February, with Leeds Rhinos playing Hull Kingston Rovers at Headingley Carnegie. This was the only game played on this weekend, due to Leeds' 2008 World Club Challenge fixture with Melbourne Storm on Friday 29 February. Leeds won the close-fought game 20-12.

The interest in events on the pitch was matched by those off it with the lead up to and the announcement of which teams were to be awarded Super League licences for 2009–11.

Teams[edit]


The locations of the teams that contested Super League XIII.
Team Stadium Capacity City/Area
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls (2008 season) Grattan Stadium, Odsal 27,000 Bradford, West Yorkshire
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers (2008 season) The Jungle 11,750 Castleford, West Yorkshire
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons (2008 season) Stade Gilbert Brutus 12,000 Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales, France
Quinscolours.svg Harlequins RL (2008 season) Twickenham Stoop 12,700 Twickenham, London
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants (2008 season) Galpharm Stadium 24,544 Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Hullcolours.svg Hull (2008 season) Kingston Communications Stadium 25,404 Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers (2008 season) "New" Craven Park 9,471 Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos (2008 season) (Reigning Champions) Headingley Carnegie Stadium 22,250 Leeds, West Yorkshire
Saintscolours.svg St Helens RLFC (2008 season) Knowsley Road 17,500 St Helens, Merseyside
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (2008 season) Belle Vue 12,600 Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves (2008 season) Halliwell Jones Stadium 14,206 Warrington, Cheshire
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors (2008 season) JJB Stadium 25,138 Wigan, Greater Manchester

Rule changes[edit]

  • If a team kicks the ball from a 20 metre restart and the ball bounces into touch or over the dead ball line they will be given head and feed at the resulting scrum.[2]
  • In the scrum the ball can no longer be trapped by the loose forward in an attempt to catch the opposition offside.[2] If the scrum moves forwards and the ball comes from between and behind the inner feet of the second row forwards it will be deemed to be out of the scrum.[2]
  • Defenders, excluding the markers at a play-the-ball, must stand with both feet behind the referee's front foot to be judged onside.[2]
  • If over their try-line the defenders steal the ball from the attacking team when there is more than one defender involved in the tackle a penalty will be given rather than a penalty try.[2]

Table[edit]

Super League XIII
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 27 21 1 5 940 457 +483 43
2 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 27 21 0 6 863 413 +450 42
3 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 27 16 2 9 694 625 +69 34
4 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 27 13 3 11 648 698 −50 29
5 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 27 14 0 13 705 625 +80 28
6 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 27 14 0 13 690 713 −23 28
7 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 27 11 1 15 564 713 −149 23
8 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 27 11 0 16 574 760 −186 22
9 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins RL 27 11 0 16 569 763 −194 22
10 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 27 10 1 16 638 681 −43 21
11 Hullcolours.svg Hull 27 8 1 18 538 699 −157 17
12 Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers 27 7 1 19 593 869 −276 15
  Teams qualifying for the Play-offs

Source: superleague.co.uk.
Classification: 1st on competition points; 2nd on match points difference.
Competition points: for win = 2; for draw = 1; for loss = 0.

Notable events[edit]

Further information: 2008 Super League Grand Final
  • 2 February - 16 weeks to the day after their Grand Final win, Super League XII champions Leeds Rhinos open the new season with a 20-12 win at home to Hull KR.
  • 10 February - The first upsets of the new season, with Hull KR beating St Helens 24-22, and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats beating Bradford Bulls 26-24.
  • 24 February - Huddersfield Giants became the first team in the league to score in excess of fifty points, by beating Castleford Tigers 64-12, running in twelve tries.
  • 7 March - The winless (0-4) Castleford Tigers comfortably beat the unbeaten (4-0) Leeds Rhinos by 38-20. In doing so, the only two 100% records in the league (Leeds 100% victories, Castleford 100% defeats) are broken.
  • 8 March - Richie Mathers becomes the first player to be sent off during Super League XIII following a 49th minute high tackle on Matt King, playing in Wigan Warriors' 32-20 away defeat by Warrington Wolves.
  • 8 March - Harlequins RL become the first team to 'nil' their opponents in Super League XIII, beating Huddersfield Giants 24-0 at home.
  • 3/4 May - The second Millennium Magic weekend takes place over the May bank holiday weekend; Warrington, Wakefield and Leeds are victorious on the Saturday with Catalans, Hull KR and St Helens emerging victorious on the Sunday.
  • 20 May - Peter Sharp becomes the first coach to be sacked in the season after Hull moved to 11th place in the table following their defeat to Harlequins.
  • 26 May - Paul Cullen becomes the second coach to depart in a week, resigning after 6 years in charge following his team's 36-28 loss to Castleford.
  • 2 June - Jon Sharp makes it three casualties on the coaching front in the space of less than a fortnight as he is sacked after a poor run of form culminating in a 48-0 defeat in the south of France.
  • 5 July - Saints claw back a 6 point table deficit and unseat Leeds as Super League leaders. For the first time this season there is a different team occupying top spot.

Operational rules[edit]

Refined salary cap regulation to prevent clubs over-spending:[3]

  • Super League clubs agreed to use the pro-active salary cap already in use in Australasia with the NRL.[3] The new cap examines each club's salary cap position at the beginning of and then during the season, new player signings will be permitted only if it is affordable within the cap.[3] Nigel Wood, the RFL's chief operating officer, explained that new system dealt with the weaknesses of the previous one that had meant breaches were only discovered in retrospect and could only be acted upon during the following season, as the new system is 'live' clubs cannot breach through miscalculation or mismanagement.[3]
  • The salary cap for this season was set at £1.6 million for the combined earnings of the top 25 players.[4] Clubs are permitted to spend a £50,000 maximum on players outside the top 25 earners who have made at least one appearance for the club in the first grade during the year.[4] Expenditure on players outside the top 25 who make no appearance for the first team are unregulated.[4] If a player has represented the same club for 10 consecutive seasons only half of their salary will be counted towards the cap for the eleventh and subsequent seasons - subject to a £50,000 maximum for each club.[4]

To provide a bigger pool of talent for the Great Britain team:[3]

  • Clubs ratified a homegrown player rule designating 'club trained players'.[3][4] Clubs must include a minimum of five players who have come through their academy or are under 21 years old in their 25-player first team squads.[3][4] British clubs were required to have ten United Kingdom-trained players and no more than ten overseas-trained players in their 25-player squads.[4]

Media[edit]

Television[edit]

In 2008, Super League games were broadcast exclusively live by Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.[5]

Sponsorship[edit]

Engage Mutual, a financial services provider, agreed a deal with the Rugby Football League to extend their title sponsorship of the Super League competition for up for three years.[1] The agreement continues title sponsorship until the end of the 2010 season and gives Engage Mutual an option for the 2011 season.[1]

Statistics[edit]

Source:[6]

Attendance[edit]

The average attendance for the regular season in 2008 was 10,338 (a Super League record) this was up from 9,855 in 2007 which was previously the record. The regular season attendance aggregate was also the highest ever for Super League at 1,674,809 up from 1,537,326 for 2007. For the seventh consecutive season since 2001 the regular season average attendance and aggregate attendance had increased from the previous year.

Tries[edit]

No. Player Club P T
1 Ade Gardner St Helens RLFC 26 28
2 Scott Donald Leeds Rhinos 24 21
3 Luke Dorn Castleford Tigers 26 19
=3 Pat Richards Wigan Warriors 25 19
5 Semi Tadulala Bradford Bulls 23 17
=5 Clint Greenshields Catalans Dragons 27 17
=5 Danny McGuire Leeds Rhinos 21 17
8 Kirk Yeaman Hull 23 16
=8 Chris Hicks Warrington Wolves 27 16
10 Paul Sykes Bradford Bulls 25 15
=10 Justin Murphy Catalans Dragons 14 15
=10 Brent Webb Leeds Rhinos 25 15

Points[edit]

No. Player Club P T G FG Pts
1 Pat Richards Wigan Warriors 25 19 115 1 307
2 Thomas Bosc Catalans Dragons 26 7 118 1 265
3 Kevin Sinfield Leeds Rhinos 26 4 119 1 255
4 Sean Long St Helens RLFC 23 8 104 2 242
5 Chris Hicks Warrington Wolves 27 16 70 0 204
6 Danny Brough Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 25 4 86 0 188
7 Chris Thorman Huddersfield Giants 21 5 83 1 187
8 Danny Tickle Hull 25 5 81 0 182
9 Paul Deacon Bradford Bulls 18 3 82 1 177
10 Ade Gardner St Helens RLFC 26 28 0 0 112

Red cards[edit]

No. Player Club # Date(s)
1 Richie Mathers Wigan Warriors 2 03/08/2008; 15/08/2008
2 Michael McIlorum Wigan Warriors 1 18/07/2008
=2 Tevita Latu Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 1 14/03/2008
=2 Darrell Griffin Huddersfield Giants 1 16/03/2008
=2 Maurie Fa'asavalu St Helens RLFC 1 06/04/2008
=2 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook Harlequins RL 1 12/07/2008
=2 Ben Westwood Warrington Wolves 1 06/04/2008
=2 Luke Robinson Huddersfield Giants 1 15/06/2008
=2 Adam Mogg Catalans Dragons 1 12/07/2008
=2 Ned Catic Castleford Tigers 1 06/09/2008
=2 Paul Sykes Bradford Bulls 1 06/07/2008
=2 Nick Scruton Leeds Rhinos 1 20/06/2008
=2 Gareth Hock Wigan Warriors 1 25/07/2008

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c SportBusiness (2008-07-02). "Engage Mutual extend Super League sponsorship". SportBusiness. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Phil Jackson (2007-12-30). "Super League rule changes". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g BBC Sport (2007-06-21). "New salary cap for Super League". BBC. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Super League. "Competition structure". Super League (Europe). Archived from the original on 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  5. ^ SportBusiness (2008-04-03). "engage Super League ups TV game". SportBusiness. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  6. ^ "engage Super League". www.superleague.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-02-03.