There is no accolade as prestigious as winning the treble in British rugby league.
This is when a club wins all three of the trophies available in the domestic season in the shape of the Challenge Cup, the League Leaders’ Shield as well as the Grand Final.
This has only been done three times – Bradford Bulls 2003, St Helens 2006 and Leeds Rhinos 2015 – but many teams have come close to accomplishing this. So, here’s six times a team should have won the Grand Final.
St Helens & Leeds Rhinos 2005
The 2005 season was blessed with two amazing teams in the shape of St Helens on the eve of their treble win and the reigning Champions Leeds. The fact that neither side won a major final in 2005 is truly surprising despite the fact they battled for the League Leaders’ Shield. They both made it to within 80 minutes from the major finals, in fact Leeds lost both and led the table for long stretches. So the fact they came away with none of the three is remarkable. Meanwhile, this St Helens side had sheer class and would have been favourites in their semi-finals.
St Helens 2018
The Saints again made two semi-finals in 2018 and were overwhelming favourites in both games. They were run away league leaders winning 26 of their 30 league games. The fact they failed to reach a final or indeed win one that season, is remarkable.
St Helens 2019
A year later, St Helens were even closer to a treble. Again, they stormed to the League Leaders’ Shield with ease, won the Grand Final and were massive favourites against Warrington Wolves in the Challenge Cup Final.
Leeds Rhinos 2014
As Leeds entered the Challenge Cup semi-finals against Warrington Wolves, they were just two points behind St Helens in the table and were playing the bottom two in their next two games. But as they rested players for the semi-final and subsequent final, they lost both including to the previously winless Broncos. Had they won these games, they would have had at least 36 points and three more games to win just one to surpass St Helens at the top. From there, the serial winners of the Grand Final would have been favourites for the Grand Final. But ultimately the toll of the Challenge Cup win undermined them,
Wigan Warriors 2012
In some ways, this Wigan team was the best from the DW Stadium as they blew teams away and won the League Leaders’ Shield. They were massive favourites in the semi-finals in both cup and league against Leeds. Both times, the big game masters Leeds came away with the win.