Super League XIV

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Super League XIV
League Super League
Duration 27 Rounds (Followed by four round play-offs)
Number of teams 14
Highest attendance 30,122
Magic Weekend Day 2(3 May)
Lowest attendance 1,988
Celtic Crusaders vs Huddersfield Giants (5 Sept)
Aggregate attendance 1,799,413 Increase
(average 8,864)
Broadcast partners United Kingdom Sky Sports

Australia Nine Network

2009 Season
Champions Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
League Leaders Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
Man of Steel Giantscolours.svg Brett Hodgson[1]
Top point-scorer(s) Wigancolours.svg Pat Richards[2] (252)
Top try-scorer(s) Rhinoscolours.svg Ryan Hall[3] (29)
< 2008 Seasons 2010 >

The 2009 Super League season (known as the Engage Super League XIV for sponsorship reasons) is the fourteenth season of rugby league since the Super League format was introduced in 1996.[4] Fourteen teams competed for the Minor Premiership over 27 rounds (including the Magic Weekend at Murrayfield Stadium) after which, the highest finishing teams entered the play-offs to compete for a place in the Grand Final and a chance to win the Super League Trophy.[5] The previous Top six play-offs are extended to eight teams.

Salford City Reds and Crusaders join the twelve teams from Super League XIII, following the implementation of a licensing system.[6] Additionally, it was the Crusaders' first ever Super League season.[7] The Catalans Dragons played at least one game in Barcelona, Spain, to try to expand their fan base in Catalonia region.[8]

The season officially kicked off on 6 February, at 20:00 GMT, with a Leeds Rhinos defeat of the Celtic Crusaders.[9] It came to a conclusion with Leeds Rhinos beating St. Helens in the Super League Grand Final on 10 October.[10] All clubs also participated in the 2009 Challenge Cup tournament.

Teams[edit]

Super League XIV saw the introduction of a licensed Super League. Under this new system, promotion and relegation between Super League and National League One was abolished, and 14 teams were granted licenses subject to certain criteria. All twelve teams from Super League XIII were given places, as well as former Super League team Salford City Reds and Crusaders, for whom it was their début season in top-flight European rugby league.

Geographically, the vast majority of teams in Super League are based in the north of England, four teams – Warrington, St Helens, Salford and Wigan – to the west of the Pennines in Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, and seven teams to the east in Yorkshire – Huddersfield, Bradford, Wakefield, Leeds, Castleford, Hull and Hull KR. Catalans Dragons are the only team outside of the United Kingdom, Crusaders are the only team in Wales, and Harlequins are the only team to be based in a capital city (London).

The locations of the teams that will contest Super League XIV.
Team Stadium Capacity City/Area
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls (2009 season) Grattan Stadium, Odsal 27,000 Bradford, West Yorkshire
Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers (2009 season) The Jungle 11,750 Castleford, West Yorkshire
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons (2009 season) Stade Gilbert Brutus 10,000 Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales, France
Cruscolours.svg Crusaders (2009 season) Brewery Field 12,000 Bridgend, Glamorgan, Wales
Quinscolours.svg Harlequins RL (2009 season) Twickenham Stoop 12,700 Twickenham, London
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants (2009 season) Galpharm Stadium 24,544 Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Hullcolours.svg Hull (2009 season) Kingston Communications Stadium 25,404 Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers (2009 season) "New" Craven Park 9,471 Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos (2009 season) Headingley Carnegie Stadium 22,250 Leeds, West Yorkshire
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds (2009 season) The Willows 11,363 Salford, Greater Manchester
Saintscolours.svg St Helens RLFC (2009 season) The GPW Recruitment Stadium 17,500 St Helens, Merseyside
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (2009 season) Belle Vue 12,600 Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves (2009 season) Halliwell Jones Stadium 14,206 Warrington, Cheshire
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors (2009 season) DW Stadium 25,138 Wigan, Greater Manchester
Reigning champions Promoted via licence

Rule changes[edit]

Changes to the play-off system:

  • This season an eight-team play-off system was introduced to replace the previous six-team system.
  • One feature of this system, known as "Club Call", is that the highest ranked team from the regular season table winning a match in the first week of the play-offs will be able to select their opponents for their next game in Week Three.[11] This selection opportunity is only possible for teams finishing in the top three during the regular season to achieve.[11]

Table[edit]

Super League XIV
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 27 21 0 6 805 453 +352 42
2 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 27 19 0 8 733 466 +267 38
3 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 27 18 0 9 690 416 +274 36
4 HKRcolours.svg Hull KR 27 17 1 9 650 516 +134 35
5 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 27 16 0 11 685 609 +76 32
6 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 27 15 0 12 659 551 +108 30
7 Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers 27 14 0 13 645 702 –57 28
8 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 27 13 0 14 613 660 –47 26
9 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 27 12 1 14 653 668 –15 25
10 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 27 12 0 15 649 705 –56 24
11 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins RL 27 11 0 16 591 691 –100 22
12 Hullcolours.svg Hull FC 27 10 0 17 502 623 –121 20
13 Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 27 7 0 20 456 754 –298 14
14 Cruscolours.svg Celtic Crusaders 27 3 0 24 357 874 –517 6
  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.


Play-offs[edit]

The play-offs commence following the conclusion of 27 round regular season and involve the eight sides finishing highest. The play-offs open on Friday 18 September, with the Week 1 fixtures being completed over the weekend.[11]

A media conference is scheduled for Sunday 27 September following the conclusion of Week 2's preliminary semi-finals the day before.[11] During the conference the highest ranked winning team from the qualifying play-offs in Week 1 will in announce which team they have chosen to play in Week 3, the next week.[11]

The play-offs will conclude with the 2009 Super League Grand Final on 10 October.[11]


  Qualifying / Elimination play-offs Preliminary semi-finals Qualifying semi-finals Grand Final
                                         
  QPO1:    
1  Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 44  
4  HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 8     PSF1:    
             Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 6    
EPO1:          Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 16       QSF1: Leeds selected Catalans[12]
5  Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 16            Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 27  
8  Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 25            Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 20     GF: 10 October, Old Trafford
         Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 18
  EPO2:       QSF2:        Saintscolours.svg St Helens RLFC 10
6  Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 18          Saintscolours.svg St Helens RLFC 14  
7  Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers 12     PSF2:          Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 10  
       HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 16    
QPO2:          Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 30    
2  Saintscolours.svg St Helens RLFC 15    
3  Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 2    
   
Key:          Losing team progressing      Winning team progressing      Winning team's progression chosen

Week 1. Qualifying/Elimination play-offs: Fixtures decided by regular reason finishing positions. Higher ranked teams play lower ranked teams. Higher ranked teams receive home ground advantage.
Week 2. Preliminary semi-finals: Fixtures decided by regular season finishing positions. Higher ranked teams play lower ranked teams. Higher ranked teams receive home ground advantage.
Week 3. Qualifying semi-finals: Winners of Qualifying play-offs play winners of Qualifying semi-finals. Fixtures decided by Club Call. Winners of Qualifying play-offs receive home ground advantage.


Club Statistics[edit]

FLP Team PTS TRS GLS DGLS MET CAR TACK OFFL ATKI RFDH TACKB MTAC CBRE FOTW KIGP MGLS MITAC ERR PEN RCAR YCAR
1 Leeds 849 148 127 3 38007 5536 8111 386 273 874 846 1042 199 8 506 32 32 338 215 0 3
2 St Helens 748 142 88 4 40624 5800 8708 291 297 750 904 1088 182 6 504 56 56 371 169 0 1
3 Wigan 707 130 93 1 38164 5402 8595 397 299 823 850 1191 173 4 555 47 48 347 190 0 5
4 Wakefield 701 118 112 5 35625 5191 8038 244 393 931 724 1014 143 1 581 34 35 296 198 1 2
5 Huddersfield 698 121 107 0 37761 5428 9282 361 324 944 728 936 169 5 573 23 26 373 238 0 3
6 Hull KR 674 118 100 2 37954 5469 9063 198 332 793 703 1234 140 9 630 30 33 351 172 0 2
7 Catalans 658 120 88 2 36555 5175 8627 248 276 750 617 909 138 7 524 40 40 355 253 0 1
8 Castleford 657 117 93 3 36128 5457 7786 283 357 910 742 983 148 3 537 37 38 325 206 0 4
9 Bradford 653 111 103 3 35109 5299 7957 365 280 762 743 1019 148 3 460 32 32 360 201 0 3
10 Warrington 649 118 88 1 36355 5069 7855 325 280 706 752 1115 153 2 472 37 38 367 173 0 1
11 Harlequins 591 102 91 1 35590 5350 8618 294 315 808 679 1025 126 4 549 20 22 319 171 1 1
12 Hull 502 86 79 0 35322 5139 8137 359 336 772 738 972 119 4 556 22 24 302 140 0 1
13 Salford 460 80 70 0 30972 4849 8827 320 258 638 575 861 98 7 571 19 19 269 223 1 4
14 Celtic Crusaders 357 63 52 1 30222 5001 8397 311 249 747 511 962 94 0 554 16 17 340 204 0 3

Source: superleague.co.uk.

Notable moments[edit]

  • Friday 6 February - The season kicks off at Headingley, with the defending champions Leeds Rhinos taking on Super League newcomers Crusaders. Leeds eventually win the game 28-6.
  • Sunday 15 February - The first draw of the season is played out at the Grattan Stadium, as Bradford Bulls and Hull KR draw 13-13.
  • Friday 27 February - The first game in the season to be decided by a single point is won by Hull KR, who beat St Helens 19 – 20 away from home.
  • Saturday 7 March - St Helens win 4-0 at Crusaders in the lowest scoring match in Super League history.
  • Friday 20 March - Hull FC and Leeds both lose, breaking the two remaining 100% records in the league.
  • Sunday 22 March - Wakefield's match away at Celtic is postponed due to the death of Leon Walker in the corresponding reserves fixture earlier in the day.
  • Sunday 19 April - St Helens become the first team to score 60 points or more in a single game, against Castleford.
  • Friday 24-Sunday 26 April - The top four teams in the league before this round; St Helens, Leeds, Huddersfield and Wakefield, all lose their fixtures.
  • Sunday 26 April - Chris Hicks scores a hat-trick for the second successive weekend, this time against Huddersfield.
  • Saturday 2-Sunday 3 May - The Magic Weekend fixtures, held over the May Day bank holiday weekend at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh attract an aggregate attendance of approximately 60,000 attendees over the two days. Over 6,000 of these were estimated to be Scottish.[13]
  • Sunday 17 May - Celtic beat Bradford to win their first ever Super League match, ending an 11-match losing sequence.
  • Saturday 23 May - Celtic host Catalans in the first ever Super League match not to feature an English side.
  • Saturday 20 June - Catalans Dragons host the first Super League game to take place in Spain, at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, the venue for the 1992 Summer Olympics.
  • Friday 3 July - David Howell of Harlequins RL becomes the first player of the season to be sent off, in Quins' match against Wigan at the JJB.
  • Saturday 4 July - Keith Senior, who holds the record for most Super League appearances, plays and scores in his 500th professional match.[14]

Awards[edit]

Awards were presented for outstanding contributions and efforts to players and clubs:[1]

Disciplinary record[edit]

The following table lists all incidents that were reviewed by the Rugby Football League during Super League XIV, which were later deemed "guilty" and resulted in disciplinary action. The offenses were graded, depending on severity, in alphabetical order, "A" being less severe than "B".

Name of Player Rnd Offense Grade Suspension Fine Source
Chev Walker 1 Striking C 1 match £300 Report
Michael McIlorum 2 Dangerous throw C 1 match £200 Report
Jamal Fakir 2 High tackle C 1 match £300 Report
Ben Westwood 2 High tackle D 5 matches £300 Report
Maurie Fa'asavalu 4 "Chicken wing" C 1 match £300 Report
Keith Mason 7 Striking C None £300 Report
Ian Sibbitt 10 High tackle C 1 match £300 Report
Darrell Griffin 17 Grapple tackle C None £300 Report
Jamal Fakir 17 High tackle C 2 matches £300 Report

Operational rules[edit]

Salary cap:

  • For the 2009 season, Super League clubs agreed to operate within a £1.7 million salary cap for their 25 first tier players.[15]

The 'club trained player rule' entered its second year and made a planned adjustment:[16]

  • Clubs would be required to include a minimum of six players, an increase from five players, who have come through their academy or are under 21 years old in their 25-player first team squads.[16] Clubs were required to have eleven United Kingdom-trained players, an increase from ten, and no more than eight overseas-trained players, a decrease from ten.[16]

Media[edit]

Television[edit]

2009 was the first of a new three-year broadcasting agreement between the RFL and BSkyB for Sky Sports to screen matches exclusively live within the United Kingdom.[17] The deal for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 season was worth in excess of £50 million, with media speculation that each Super League club would receive £0.9-£1.2 million in 2009.[15][18]

Sky Sports' continued coverage in the UK sees two live matches broadcast each week - one on Friday Night at 7:30pm and another at 6pm on Saturdays. Regular commentators are Eddie Hemmings and Mike Stephenson with summarisers including Phil Clarke, Barrie McDermott and Terry O'Connor. Highlights are shown on Boots N' All which is shown on Sky Sports and is rebroadcast on the Internet.

BBC Sport broadcast a highlights programme called the Super League Show, usually presented by Harry Gration. The BBC have elected to broadcast this only to the North West, Yorkshire & North Midlands, North East & Cumbria, and East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire regions on a Sunday. A national repeat is broadcast overnight during the week, the BBC Director of Sport, Richard Moseley, commented that this move was in response to the growing popularity and awareness of the sport, and the large number of requests from people who want to watch it elsewhere in the UK. End of season play-offs are shown across the whole country in a highlights package. Super League Show is available for streaming or downloaded using the BBC iPlayer in the UK.

Orange Sport TV in France shows every Catalans Dragons home match live and also some other matches which are broadcast in the UK live on Sky.

Internationally Super League is shown live on Showtime Sports (Middle East), Sky Sport (New Zealand), NTV+ (Russia), SportKlub (Eastern Europe) and Setanta Sports (USA and Canada) show Super League matches live or delayed each week.

2009 was the first of a three-year deal in which the Nine Network in Australia will show up to 70 live games from Super League over the season.[19][20]

Radio[edit]

Super League XIV is covered extensively by BBC Local Radio:

  • BBC Radio Manchester cover Wigan, Salford and Warrington.
  • BBC Radio Humberside cover Hull KR and Hull FC.
  • BBC Radio Leeds cover Bradford, Leeds, Castleford, Wakefield and Huddersfield.
  • BBC Radio Merseyside (AM/DAB only) cover St Helens and Warrington.

The competition is also covered on commercial radio coverage:

  • BCB 106.6 (Bradford Community Broadcasting) cover Bradford Bulls home and away.
  • Radio Aire cover Leeds Rhinos.
  • KCFM Hull cover Hull KR and Hull.
  • Radio Marseillette covers every Catalans Dragons Home Match (in French).
  • Radio France Bleu Roussillon covers every Catalans Dragons Away Match (in French).
  • Yorkshire Radio cover all Yorkshire clubs and have one commentary per round which is not covered by either BBC or SKY.

All Super League commentaries on any station are available via the particular stations on-line streaming.

Internet[edit]

ESPN360 has worldwide broadband rights.

Starting from Thursday 9 April 2009, all of the matches shown on Sky Sports will also be available live online via Livestation everywhere in the world excluding the US, Puerto Rico, UK, Ireland, France, Monaco, Australia and New Zealand. List of Super League games available on Livestation.com

In the United Kingdom, BBC London 94.9, BBC Radio Wales and Radio Warrington cover Harlequins, Celtic Crusaders (home games) and Warrington (home games) respectively.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Man of Steel on SLTV". Super League. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  2. ^ slstats.org. "2009 top points scorers". RLfans.com. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  3. ^ Super League. "Super League statistics: 2009 Tries". Super League. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  4. ^ "engage extends Super League deal". engagesl.com (Engage Mutual Assurance). Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  5. ^ "Super League XIV fixtures 2009". London: thesun.co.uk (The Sun). 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  6. ^ "Crusaders & Salford win licences". news.bbc.co.uk (BBC Sport). 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  7. ^ Burke, David (2008-07-22). "Celtic Crusaders became first team in Wales to join Engage Super League". London: telegraph.co.uk (The Daily Telegraph). Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  8. ^ "Warrington Wolves' 2009 Super League fixtures include trip to Barcelona". warringtonguardian.co.uk (The Warrington Guardian). Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  9. ^ "Leeds 28-6 Celtic Crusaders". news.bbc.co.uk (BBC Sport). 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  10. ^ "engage Super League Grand Final 2009" (pdf). therfl.co.uk (Rugby Football League). Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Super League (2009-09-09). "All to play for as Super League gears up for Club Call". Super League. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  12. ^ Super League (2009-09-27). "Rhinos line up Dragons". Super League. Archived from the original on 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  13. ^ "RFL hail magic weekend". skysports.com (Sky Sports). 2009-05-03. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  14. ^ "Hull 30-43 Leeds". news.bbc.co.uk. 2009-07-04. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  15. ^ a b James Chapelard (2008-07-28). "Licence is Wilkinson's reward for years of support". Crain's Manchester Business. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  16. ^ a b c Super League. "Competition structure". Super League. Archived from the original on 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  17. ^ Sky Sports (2007-11-26). "Super League deal". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  18. ^ John Ledger (2007-11-27). "Super League cashes in". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  19. ^ engage Super League (Press Release) (2008-11-15). "Channel Nine to show English Super League and Challenge Cup". RLeague.com. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  20. ^ SportBusiness (2008-11-17). "Channel Nine inks RFL deals". SportsBusiness. Retrieved 2009-07-26.