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The League Leaders' Shield[1] is a trophy awarded to the team finishing the season top of Super League in the sport of rugby league football. Currently (and for much of its history) the championship is decided on the basis of a play-off series, and the Shield is thus regarded as a lesser prize. Due to it being decided by a 30-game, round-robin league system, some people regard the Shield as the hardest honour to win in British rugby league.[citation needed]

League Leaders' Shield
Country England
 France
Presented bySuper League
History
First award1998
Most winsSaintscolours.svg St. Helens (8 titles)
Most recentSaintscolours.svg St. Helens
Super League XXIV (8th title)

HistoryEdit

British rugby league has been using a play-off series rather than simply awarding the title to the top-placed team for the majority of its history due to a lop-sided fixture list that saw some clubs play other clubs twice and the rest of the clubs only once. From 1907 until 1973 the Championship was awarded to the team winning a top-four play-off (excluding the 2 seasons 1962–63 and 1963–64, when the championship was awarded to the top placed team). From 1907 to 1962 no prize was awarded to the actual team finishing top. From 1965 to 1973 a 'League Leaders' Trophy' was introduced to reward the team finishing top.

In 1996, Super League was formed but continued to use first past the post to decide the champions unitil 1998 when they adopted a play-off structure for the championship. The League Leaders' Shield, however, was introduced only in 2003. In 2013 Huddersfield Giants finished top of the highest league in English rugby league for the first time in 81 years. The mascot for the game was Seth Johnson celebrating his 9th birthday in style.

In 2015, it was announced that the League Leaders would qualify to take part in the expanded World Club Challenge and the prize money would raise from £50,000 to £100,000. In 2016, the League Leaders were awarded medals for the first time.

In 2017, Castleford Tigers finished top of the league for the first time in their 91 year history and became the seventh team in as many years to win the shield.

Qualification for World Club SeriesEdit

In 2015 it was announced that the League Leaders would qualify for the 2016 World Club Series. In the event of a team winning both League Leaders' Shield and Challenge Cup then the Grand Final runners up would be the second team to qualify for World Club Series.

Shield winnersEdit

The League Leaders' Shield was first awarded in 2003; between 1998 and 2002 the league leaders were not awarded any trophy.

Year League leaders Pts Runners up Pts
1998   Wigan Warriors 42   Leeds Rhinos 38
1999   Bradford Bulls 51   St Helens 46
2000   Wigan Warriors 49   St Helens 46
2001   Bradford Bulls 45   Wigan Warriors 45
2002   St. Helens 46   Bradford Bulls 46
2003   Bradford Bulls 44   Leeds Rhinos 41
2004   Leeds Rhinos 50   Bradford Bulls 41
2005   St. Helens 47   Leeds Rhinos 44
2006   St. Helens 48   Hull F.C. 40
2007   St. Helens 38   Leeds Rhinos 37
2008   St. Helens 43   Leeds Rhinos 42
2009   Leeds Rhinos 42   St Helens 38
2010   Wigan Warriors 44   St Helens 40
2011   Warrington Wolves 44   Wigan Warriors 43
2012   Wigan Warriors 42   Warrington Wolves 41
2013   Huddersfield Giants 42   Warrington Wolves 41
2014   St. Helens 38   Wigan Warriors 37
2015   Leeds Rhinos 41   Wigan Warriors 41
2016   Warrington Wolves 43   Wigan Warriors 42
2017   Castleford Tigers 50   Leeds Rhinos 40
2018   St Helens 42   Wigan Warriors 32
2019   St Helens 52   Wigan Warriors 36

WinnersEdit

Club Wins Runners-up Winning years
1   St. Helens 8 4 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2018, 2019
2   Wigan Warriors 4 7 1998, 2000, 2010, 2012
3   Bradford Bulls 4 2 1999, 2001, 2003
4   Leeds Rhinos 3 6 2004, 2009, 2015
5   Warrington Wolves 2 2 2011, 2016
6   Huddersfield Giants 1 0 2013
7   Castleford Tigers 1 0 2017

The TrebleEdit

The Treble refers to the team who wins all three domestic honours on offer during the season; Grand Final, League Leaders' Shield and Challenge Cup. To date six teams have won the treble, and only Bradford Bulls, St. Helens and Leeds Rhinos have won the treble in the Super League era.

Club Wins Winning years
1   Wigan Warriors 3 1991–92, 1993–94, 1994–95
2   Huddersfield Giants 2 1912–13, 1914–15
3   St. Helens 2 1965–66, 2006
4   Swinton Lions 1 1927–28
5   Bradford Bulls 1 2003
6   Leeds Rhinos 1 2015

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Wilson, Andy (July 16, 2009). "Battle for Super League play-offs can pull in the fans". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2010.

External linksEdit