Five of the best Final Round Dramas

Here, we look at five of the best final round dramas in the history of the Super League.

These are in no particular order.

Four off as Wakefield produce great escape (2001) 

Ben Westwood was on the wing as Wakefield won a bad-tempered affair at The Willows. Credit: Richard Long/News Images

Wakefield Trinity and Huddersfield Giants were separated by just one point heading into the final day in 2001.

Trinity travelled to Salford City Reds, while the Giants hosted London Broncos at the John Smiths Stadium. It was in Wakefield’s hands. If they won, they were safe, no matter what the result was at Huddersfield.

Just a week earlier, Wakefield beat Huddersfield 21-19 to edge ahead in the battle to avoid the drop.

At Salford, it was a close first half, Salford were in front 18-14, with Wakefield needing to turn the score around to guarantee survival.

It wasn’t the ideal start, as Stuart Littler intercepted a pass and went the distance to make it 24-14. Then the game turned.

Neil Law dragged Wakefield back into the game, before Littler was sent off for what was deemed to be a deliberate trip on Martin Pearson.

Former Wakefield halfback Bobbie Goulding then intercepted for Salford, and looked to go all the way. However, he ended up in the sin bin for what was interpreted to be a deliberate offside.

As Goulding was walking off the pitch, he had the ball thrown at him by Justin Brooker, which sparked a mass brawl. Both players were sent off.

Law then grabbed his second, and David March sealed the deal with the clock winding down.

That wasn’t the end of the drama either. Graham Holroyd was then sent off for Salford, leaving them down to 10 men. He was sent off for kicking out at March.

Meanwhile, an impressive 28-24 win for Huddersfield against London was in vain.

Wakefield thrash Warrington to secure status (2002)

Gareth Ellis played at centre for Wakefield, as they produced their second great escape in two seasons. Credit: News Images

Once again, Wakefield were involved in last day drama. This time, it was with Salford. Trinity faced Warrington at Belle Vue, while Salford went to playoff chasing Castleford Tigers.

It was in Salford’s hands. If they won, they were safe. As for Wakefield, they had to beat Warrington and hope local rivals Castleford did them a favour.

Hat-tricks from Adrian Vowles and Brad Davis, as well as other tries from Chris Feather, Jamie Field, Andrew Frew and Kris Tassell completed the scoring.

Salford’s fate was confirmed by a 20-10 defeat.

Battle of Belle Vue (2006)

With Catalans Dragons exempt from relegation, it meant for the first time in the history of the Super League that the only side relegated would not finish bottom.

It came down to two West Yorkshire rivals, Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers, who met at Belle Vue in a winner-takes-all scenario. The winners would stay in the Super League, whilst the losers would be relegated to the National League.

In a tension filled match, it was Wakefield who came out on top, 29-17. Two tries from James Evans, and others from Jason Demetriou, Monty Bentam and Kevin Henderson sealed a big win for Wakefield.

It was the second time in three seasons that Wakefield had pipped Castleford to stay in the Super League.

Ryan Hall seals League Leaders Shield for Leeds (2015)

Ryan Hall scored the crucial try that gave Leeds the second leg of their treble in 2015. Credit: News Images

Easily one of the most dramatic final round moments. Leeds needed to just match Wigan’s result to claim the second leg of their treble.

Tries from Jamie Ellis and Jermaine McGillvary, as well as two penalties from Danny Brough, had Huddersfield 16-8 up with less than ten minutes to go.

Tom Briscoe then pulled one back for Leeds, then a Kevin Sinfield penalty levelled the match at 16-16.

With the game heading for a draw, Danny McGuire put a hopeful kick towards the touchline. Scott Grix crucially the ball bounce in front of him, allowing Ryan Hall to pounce and run half the length of the pitch to win the game for Leeds.

This was a symbol of the Rhinos’ determination that season, and they went on to complete their treble after a win over Wigan Warriors in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.

Warrington avenge Challenge Cup defeat to pip Hull FC (2016)

Tom Lineham scored two tries at his former club to deny them the League Leaders Shield in 2016. Credit: News Images

Another winner takes all scenario saw Hull FC welcome Warrington Wolves to face off for the League Leaders Shield at the KC Stadium.

The ball was very much in Hull’s court. The Challenge Cup winners were top heading into the final round, and had to avoid defeat against Warrington to win the League Leaders Shield.

However, Warrington came prepared to spoil the party. Former Hull winger Tom Lineham was the star of the show, as he grabbed two tries on his return to the KC Stadium.

They also had a lot to thank Dec Patton for. He kicked five goals and one drop goal. They went on to win 23-6.

Warrington made it to Old Trafford for the third time, but were beaten for the second time by Wigan Warriors.

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