We all know names like Kevin Sinfield, Paul Sculthorpe, Andy Farrell and Jamie Peacock but there are plenty of players who should be considered Super League legends who don’t receive the praise they deserve. So, today we’re shinning a light on Super League’s unsung heroes and giving you Super League’s most underrated players of all time.
5. Mickey Higham
In a world full of Kerion Cunninghams and James Robys, its easier for any hooker to go under the radar. I could’ve quite easily featured the likes of Terry Newton or Matt Diskin in this list as both were exceptional number nines and yet don’t get the praise they deserve and nor does Higham. A Grand Final winner in 2002, he was once upon a time the perfect foil to Cunningham at St Helens. However, in search of a starting spot he left to rivals Wigan. Granted he didn’t set the world on fire at the DW but he would be a huge success at Warrington. He guided the Wire to multiple Challenge Cups, their first two Grand Finals and the top of the table in 2011. During his time there he formed one of my favourite partnerships with Michael Monaghan at hooker. The pair always looked to one-up each other and it brought the very best out of them.
4. Jamie Jones-Buchanan
A seven-time Grand Final winner, a cornerstone of Super League’s most successful dynasty at Leeds and yet you’ll rarely see Jamie Jones named in someone’s all-time greatest Super League XIII. This will always baffle me. No second-rower has won more Super League crowns than the man from Bramley and he was key to all seven titles he won. He scored in the 2007 Grand Final but rarely grabbed the headlines in other Old Trafford deciders but always grafted to get Leeds on top in the big moments.
3. Liam Farrell
Another second-row not given the respect he deserves, the Wiganer has been at the heart of their return to glory since 2010. He’s come up with plenty of big moments like his famous match-winner against St Helens in 2011 or his superb Grand Final performance in 2016. Even now he seems to be enjoying a renaissance forcing his way back into the England setup.
2. Paul Anderson
Easily one of Super League’s greatest props and yet he hardly gets spoken about. He formed part of Super League’s greatest ever pack at Bradford helping them to the treble in 2003 as well as a number of other honours. Then, in 2005 he was poached by St Helens as they looked to rebuild and recement themselves as the top dogs. Many look to the arrival of Jamie Lyon that year however Anderson was just as important as he made St Helens far stronger down the middle helping them to the top of the league in 2005 before being central to their treble in 2006. One of a handful of players to win two trebles, the fact he was key to two of Super League’s greatest ever sides should tell you everything you need to know about ‘Baloo’ as he was affectionately called.
1. Carl Ablett
Like his teammate Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Ablett claimed seven Super League titles and yet rarely gets mentioned. Goodness knows how when he was at the heart of many of them. In both the 2011 and 2012 Grand Finals, he poached a key try which took the game away from the opposition. In fact, 2012 saw him push captain Kevin Sinfield all the way for the Harry Sunderland Award such was the quality of his Grand Final performance. He also scored tries at Wembley and in the World Club Challenge and was always consistently superb with the ball in hand and in defence. A rock in that Leeds team, he most definitely deserves more credit.