1986–87 Rugby Football League season

The 1986–87 Rugby Football League season was the 92nd season of rugby league football. Sixteen clubs competed for the Championship which was determined by League position.

1986–87 Rugby Football League season
LeagueStones Bitter Championship
1986–87 Season
ChampionsWigancolours.svg Wigan
Premiership winnersWigancolours.svg Wigan
Man of Steel AwardWigancolours.svg Ellery Hanley
Top point-scorer(s)Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin 424
Top try-scorer(s)Wigancolours.svg Ellery Hanley 63
Promotion and relegation
Promoted from Second DivisionHunsletcolours.svg Hunslet
Swintoncolours.svg Swinton
Haven colours.svg Whitehaven
Doncaster colours.svg Doncaster
Relegated to Second DivisionOldhamcolours.svg Oldham
Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers
Barrowcolours.svg Barrow
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity
Second Division
ChampionsHunsletcolours.svg Hunslet
Top try-scorer(s)Swintoncolours.svg Derek Bate 31
Seasons

Season summaryEdit

The Silk Cut Challenge Cup Winners were Halifax who beat St. Helens 19-18 in the final.

The John Player Special Trophy Winners were Wigan who beat Warrington 18-4 in the final.

The Stones Bitter Premiership Trophy Winners were Wigan who beat Warrington 8-0 in the final.

Wigan beat Oldham 27–6 to win the Lancashire County Cup, and Castleford beat Hull F.C. 31–24 to win the Yorkshire County Cup.

ChampionshipEdit

Stones Bitter League Champions were Wigan for the tenth time in their history, losing only two league games all season - both to Warrington. Oldham, Featherstone Rovers, Barrow and Wakefield Trinity were relegated. A one-off 'two-up, four-down' promotion was used to reduce the top division to 14 clubs.

Team Pld W D L PF PA Pts
1   Wigan 30 28 0 2 941 193 56
2   St. Helens 30 20 1 9 835 465 41
3   Warrington 30 20 1 9 728 464 41
4   Castleford 30 20 0 10 631 429 40
5   Halifax 30 17 1 12 553 487 35
6   Hull Kingston Rovers 30 16 0 14 446 531 32
7   Bradford Northern 30 15 1 14 555 550 31
8   Widnes 30 14 0 16 598 613 28
9   Salford 30 14 0 16 509 656 28
10   Leigh 30 13 1 16 549 610 27
11   Hull 30 13 1 16 538 650 27
12   Leeds 30 13 0 17 565 571 26
13   Oldham 30 13 0 17 554 679 26
14   Featherstone Rovers 30 8 1 21 498 776 17
15   Barrow 30 7 2 21 456 725 16
16   Wakefield Trinity 30 4 1 25 386 943 9
  Champions   Play-offs   Relegated

Second DivisionEdit

A complicated fixture formula was introduced in the Second Division and continued until the 1991–92 season.[1] 2nd Division Champions were Hunslet, and Swinton were also promoted.

Team Pld W D L PF PA Pts
1 Hunslet 28 25 0 3 722 218 50
2 Swinton 28 23 1 4 713 323 47
3 Whitehaven 28 21 1 6 577 304 43
4 Doncaster 28 20 1 7 586 388 41
5 Rochdale Hornets 28 19 1 8 519 369 39
6 Sheffield Eagles 28 17 0 11 625 426 34
7 Bramley 28 16 0 12 407 440 32
8 Carlisle 28 15 1 12 463 446 31
9 Blackpool Borough 28 14 0 14 530 477 28
10 York 28 11 0 17 492 537 22
11 Runcorn Highfield 28 10 1 17 391 533 21
12 Fulham 28 8 2 18 461 632 18
13 Batley 28 9 0 19 335 528 18
14 Workington Town 28 9 0 19 405 652 18
15 Huddersfield Barracudas 28 8 0 20 456 673 16
16 Mansfield Marksman 28 8 0 20 366 592 16
17 Dewsbury 28 8 0 20 328 563 16
18 Keighley 28 7 0 21 366 641 14
  Champions   Play-offs   Promoted   Relegated

Challenge CupEdit

Wigan’s 10-8 defeat to Oldham in Round One this season, would be their last Challenge Cup defeat until February 1996.

Halifax and St Helens reached the final with 'Fax coming out victorious with a 19-18 win at Wembley before a crowd of 91,267.[2] A desperate tackle by Halifax's John Pendlebury was seen as instrumental in giving his side the victory,[3] which was their fifth in twelve Final appearances.

Halifax's Australian fullback, Graham Eadie, won the Lance Todd Trophy.

League CupEdit

PremiershipEdit

Kangaroo TourEdit

The months of October and November also saw the appearance of the Australian team in England on their 1986 Kangaroo Tour. Other than the three test Ashes series against Great Britain (won 3–0 by Australia), The Kangaroos played and won matches against 9 Championship teams (Wigan, Hull KR, Leeds, Halifax, St Helens, Oldham, Widnes, Hull, and Bradford Northern) and one county side (Cumbria).

The 1986 Kangaroos were coached by Don Furner who had toured as a player in 1956–57 while the team captain was Wally Lewis who had been the vice-captain of the 1982 Kangaroos.

Dual-rugby international Michael O'Connor of the St George Dragons was the leading point scorer on the tour with 170 from 13 tries and 59 goals. Canterbury-Bankstown stand-off / loose forward Terry Lamb was the leading try scorer with 19, including scoring 5 against Hull Kingston Rovers at Craven Park on 15 October. Lamb also became the first player to appear in every match of a Kangaroo Tour.

The 1986 Kangaroos became known as The Unbeatables after their second successive unbeaten Kangaroo Tour.

game Date Result Venue Attendance
1 12 October   Australia def.   Wigan 26–18 Central Park, Wigan 30,622
2 15 October   Australia def.   Hull Kingston Rovers 46–10 Craven Park, Hull 6,868
3 19 October   Australia def.   Leeds 40–0 Headingley, Leeds 11,389
4 21 October   Australia def.   Cumbria 48–12 Craven Park, Barrow-in-Furness 4,233
5 25 October   Australia def.   Great Britain 38–16 Old Trafford, Manchester 50,583
6 29 October   Australia def.   Halifax 36–2 Thrum Hall, Halifax 7,193
7 2 November   Australia def.   St. Helens 32–8 Knowsley Road, St Helens 15,381
8 4 November   Australia def.   Oldham 22–16 The Watersheddings, Oldham 5,678
9 8 November   Australia def.   Great Britain 34–4 Elland Road, Leeds 30,808
10 12 November   Australia def.   Widnes 20–4 Naughton Park, Widnes 10,268
11 16 November   Australia def.   Hull F.C. 13–7 The Boulevard, Hull 8,231
12 18 November   Australia def.   Bradford Northern 38–0 Odsal Stadium, Bradford 10,633
13 20 November   Australia def.   Great Britain 24–15 Central Park, Wigan 20,169

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1986-87 Season summary". Archived from the original on 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
  2. ^ Raymond Fletcher; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995-1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. p. 191. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2.
  3. ^ news.bbc.co.uk (27 February 2004). "Cup heroes: John Pendlebury". BBC News. UK: BBC. Retrieved 6 March 2011.

SourcesEdit