Super League XVI

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Super League XVI
League Super League
Duration 27 Rounds (Followed by 4 round playoffs)
Teams 14
Highest attendance 30,891
Magic Weekend Day 1 (12 February)
Lowest attendance 1,766
Harlequins vs. Crusaders (20 February)
Average attendance 9,615[1]
Attendance 990,439[1]
Broadcast partners

United Kingdom Sky Sports Australia Nine Network

France Orange Sport

United States America One

Europe Sport Klub
2011 season
Champions Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
5th Super League title
8th English title
League Leaders Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves
Runners-up Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
Man of Steel Castleford colours.svg Rangi Chase
Top point-scorer(s) Saintscolours.svg Jamie Foster (330)
Top try-scorer(s) Rhinoscolours.svg Ryan Hall (28)

The 2011 Super League season (known as the Engage Super League XVI for sponsorship reasons) was the 16th season of rugby league football since the Super League format was introduced in 1996.[2] Fourteen teams competed for the League Leaders' Shield over 27 rounds (including the Magic Weekend at Millennium 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 championship and the Super League Trophy. Leeds Rhinos claimed their fifth Super League crown, tying the record previously held by St. Helens, whilst Warrington Wolves lifted the League Leaders' Shield.

The season kicked off on 12 February with the Annual "Millennium Magic Weekend", which was brought forward from its usual slot in May. All clubs also participated in the 2011 Challenge Cup tournament.

The first game of the new season was Warrington Wolves vs Huddersfield Giants, a repeat of the 2009 Challenge Cup Final and a repeat of the classic play-off match between the two sides. Former Giants captain and Warrington Full Back Brett Hodgson made his debut for his new club against his old one.

The 2011 season included the introduction of the Rugby League International Origin Match, wherein the England national rugby league team played the RL Exiles, an outfit made up of Australians and New Zealanders playing for Super League clubs. This contest is intended to henceforth become an annual fixture to replace the previously existing annual test against the France national rugby league team, due to the onesidedness of such contests in recent years.


Super League XVI was the third year of a licensed Super League. Under this system, promotion and relegation between Super League and Championship was abolished, and 14 teams were granted licences 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. This was the final year of the initial licensing cycle; a new set of licences would be awarded for 2012–14.

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 Trinity, Leeds, Castleford, Hull F.C. and Hull Kingston Rovers. Catalans Dragons are the only team based in France and are outside of the UK, Crusaders are the only team in Wales, and Harlequins are the only team to be based in a capital city (London).

The maps below indicate the locations of teams that competed in Super League XVI.

Team Stadium Capacity City/Area
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls (2011 season) Grattan Stadium, Odsal 27,000 Bradford, West Yorkshire
Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers (2011 season) The Jungle 11,750 Castleford, West Yorkshire
Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons (2011 season) Stade Gilbert Brutus 10,000 Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales, France
Cruscolours.svg Crusaders Rugby League (2011 season) The Racecourse Ground 15,000 Wrexham, Clwyd, Wales
Quinscolours.svg Harlequins (2011 season) Twickenham Stoop 12,700 Twickenham, London
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants (2011 season) Galpharm Stadium 24,544 Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. (2011 season) Kingston Communications Stadium 25,404 Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers (2011 season) "New" Craven Park 9,471 Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos (2011 season) Headingley Carnegie Stadium 22,250 Leeds, West Yorkshire
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds (2011 season) Salford City Stadium 12,000 Salford, Greater Manchester
Saintscolours.svg St Helens R.F.C. (2011 season) Halton Stadium 13,350 Widnes, Halton
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (2011 season) Belle Vue 12,600 Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves (2011 season) Halliwell Jones Stadium 14,206 Warrington, Cheshire
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors (2011 season) DW Stadium 25,138 Wigan, Greater Manchester
  Reigning Super League champions
  Defending Challenge Cup Champions


Rule changes[edit]

  • A new stricter variation on the ruck and holding down was introduced in 2011. When the referee calls "held" and "move", the tackle is deemed to be completed, and any further infringement from that point on in the ruck is penalised.

Operational rules[edit]

  • All Super League clubs agreed to operate within the £1.7million salary cap for their top 25 first-tier players.
  • Quota spots were reduced to 5, meaning only 5 players could be from abroad. However, players from France, Samoa, Tonga and Papua New Guinea all count as federation-trained and thus do not count against the quota.


# Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 27 22 0 5 1072 401 671 44
2 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 27 20 3 4 852 432 420 43
3 Saintscolours.svg St Helens R.F.C. 27 17 3 7 782 515 267 37
4 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 27 16 0 11 707 524 183 32
5 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 27 15 1 11 757 603 154 31
6 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 27 15 1 11 689 626 63 31
7 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 27 14 0 13 713 692 21 28
8 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 27 13 1 13 718 569 149 27
9 Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers 27 12 2 13 664 808 -144 26
10 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 27 9 2 16 570 826 −256 20
11 Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 27 10 0 17 542 809 −267 20
12 Quinscolours.svg Harlequins RL 27 6 1 20 524 951 −427 13
13 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Wildcats* 27 7 0 20 453 957 −504 10
14 Cruscolours.svg Crusaders* 27 6 0 21 527 857 −330 8
  Teams qualifying for the Play-offs


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


The play-offs commenced following the conclusion of the 27-round regular season. To decide the grand finalists from the top eight finishing teams, Super League uses its unique play-off system. The finals concluded with the 2011 Super League Grand Final.

Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time (Local) Venue Referee Crowd
Warrington Wolves 47 – 0 Huddersfield Giants 16 September 2011, 20:00 Halliwell Jones Stadium Steve Ganson 10,006
Catalans Dragons 56 - 6 Hull Kingston Rovers 17 September 2011, 19:45 Stade Gilbert Brutus James Child 8,413
Leeds Rhinos 42 – 10 Hull F.C. 18 September 2011, 17:15 Headingley Stadium Ben Thaler 9,075
Wigan Warriors 18 - 26 St. Helens 18 September 2011, 14:45 DW Stadium Phil Bentham 12,893
Huddersfield Giants 28 – 34 Leeds Rhinos 23 September 2011, 20:00 Galpharm Stadium Phil Bentham 7,872
Wigan Warriors 44 – 0 Catalans Dragons 25 September 2011, 17:00 DW Stadium Steve Ganson 6,790
Warrington Wolves 24 – 26 Leeds Rhinos 30 September 2011, 20:00 Halliwell Jones Stadium Steve Ganson 12,074
St. Helens 26 - 18 Wigan Warriors 1 October 2011, 18:00 Stobart Stadium Phil Bentham 9.421
Leeds Rhinos 32 – 16 St. Helens 8 October 2011, 18:00 Old Trafford, Manchester Phil Bentham 69,107
2011 Super League play-offs bracket
  Qualifying / Elimination play-offs Preliminary semi-finals Qualifying semi-finals Grand Final
1  Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 47  
4  Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 0     PSF1:    
             Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants 28    
EPO1:          Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 34       QSF1: Warrington selected Leeds[5]
5  Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 42            Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 24  
8  Hullcolours.svg Hull 10            Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 26     GF: 8 October, Old Trafford
         Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 32
  EPO2:       QSF2:        Saintscolours.svg St Helens 16
6  Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 56          Saintscolours.svg St Helens 26  
7  HKRcolours.svg Hull KR 6     PSF2:          Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 18  
       Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 44    
QPO2:          Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons 0    
2  Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 18    
3  Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 26    
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.


The following are the top points scorers in the Super League during the 2011 season. Statistics also include tries and goals scored in the play-offs.[6]

Most points

Player Team Tries Goals DGs Points
Jamie Foster St. Helens 21 123 0 330
Brett Hodgson Warrington Wolves 18 121 0 314
Pat Richards Wigan Warriors 21 115 0 314
Kevin Sinfield Leeds Rhinos 2 138 2 286
Scott Dureau Catalans Dragons 11 92 5 233
Patrick Ah Van Bradford Bulls 9 87 0 210
Danny Tickle Hull F.C. 9 83 0 202
Danny Brough Huddersfield Giants 8 82 1 197
Kirk Dixon Castleford Tigers 7 84 0 196
Luke Gale Harlequins 8 75 2 184


Awards were presented for outstanding contributions and efforts to players and clubs:[7]

This season the Engage Mutual Charity Man of the Match Award sceheme was undertaken as well.



2011 was the last year of a three-year broadcasting agreement between the RFL and BSkyB for Sky Sports to screen matches exclusively live within the United Kingdom.[8] The deal for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 season was worth in excess of £50 million.[9][10]

Sky Sports continued coverage in the UK that saw two live matches broadcast each week – one on Friday night at 7:30 pm and another usually on Saturday evenings. Regular commentators were Eddie Hemmings and Mike Stephenson with summarisers including Phil Clarke, Barrie McDermott and Terry O'Connor. Highlights were shown on Boots N' All, shown on Sky Sports and rebroadcast on the Internet.

BBC Sport broadcast a highlights programme called the Super League Show, usually presented by Harry Gration. The BBC 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 was 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 aired every Catalans Dragons home match either live or via tape delay.

Internationally Super League is shown live on Showtime Sports (Middle East), Sky Sport (New Zealand), NTV+ (Russia), SportKlub (Eastern Europe).

2011 was also the last of a three-year deal in which the Nine Network in Australia showed up to 70 live games from Super League over the life of the contract.[11][12]


BBC Coverage:

  • BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra (National DAB Digital Radio) normally carry one Super League commentary a week on Friday Nights.
  • BBC Manchester will carry commentary of Wigan and Salford whilst sharing commentary of Warrington with BBC Merseyside.
  • BBC Humberside will have full match commentary of all Hull KR and Hull matches.
  • BBC Leeds carry commentaries featuring Bradford, Leeds, Castleford, Wakefield and Huddersfield.
  • BBC Merseyside (AM/DAB only) will have commentary on every St Helens match whilst sharing commentary of Warrington with BBC Manchester.
  • BBC London 94.9 airs all Harlequins games home & away, mainly via online streaming only.

Commercial Radio Coverage:

  • Wish FM will carry commentaries of Wigan & St Helens matches.
  • Wire FM will do full match commentary on Warrington Home & Away.
  • BCB 106.6 (Bradford Community Broadcasting) have full match commentary of Bradford Bulls home and away.
  • Yorkshire Radio increases its coverage to air 50 games in the 2011 season.
  • Radio Warrington (Online Station) all Warrington home games and some away games.
  • Radio Marseillette covers every Catalans Dragons Home Match (in French).
  • Radio France Bleu Roussillon covers every Catalans Dragons Away Match (in French).
  • KCFM Hull will no longer be offering commentary of Hull KR and Hull matches.

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


ESPN3 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


  1. ^ a b "Sky Sports - Super League Stats". Sky Sports. Retrieved 1 March 2010. [not in citation given]
  2. ^ "engage extends Super League deal". (Engage Mutual Assurance). Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  3. ^ "Super League club Crusaders deducted four points for going into administration". The Daily Telegraph. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "RFL docks Wakefield Trinity Wildcats four points". BBC. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  5. ^ BBC Sport (26 September 2011). "St Helens opt for Huddersfield Giants in Club Call". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Tim Butcher; Daniel Spencer. Gillette Rugby League Yearbook 2011-12. League Publications Limited. ISBN 978-1-901347-24-1. 
  7. ^ "Man of Steel on SLTV". Super League. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  8. ^ Sky Sports (2007-11-26). "Super League deal". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  9. ^ James Chapelard (2008-07-28). "Licence is Wilkinson's reward for years of support". Crain's Manchester Business. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  10. ^ John Ledger (2007-11-27). "Super League cashes in". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  11. ^ engage Super League (Press Release) (2008-11-15). "Channel Nine to show English Super League and Challenge Cup". Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  12. ^ SportBusiness (2008-11-17). "Channel Nine inks RFL deals". SportsBusiness. Retrieved 2009-07-26.