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Super League’s top five halfback partnerships of all-time

A good halfback partnership is what makes a team tick; if a stand-off and scrum-half work together well on the field, then almost anything can happen in a Super League season.

Over the past 25 years of the summer game, we have been blessed to witness some incredible partnerships between some extremely talented 6s and 7s.

But, just which halfback partnerships rank in the top five ever seen in Super League?

5. Lee Briers and Richie Myler

Though the duo only won one Challenge Cup as a partnership, they did make it to two Grand Finals around the turn of the 2010s. Unfortunately for Briers and Myler – and Warrington – they would lose both, but they were key players in the Wolves’ squad that finished top for the first time in the summer game in 2011. With Myler’s running game contrasting superbly with Briers’ excellent game management, it was a match made in heaven and Warrington should perhaps have won more silverware with this duo at the helm. Briers would also win the Lance Todd trophy in 2010 for his performance in the Wolves’ demolition of Leeds in the Challenge Cup Final.

4. Iestyn Harris and Paul Deacon

The first of two Bradford partnerships included in this list, Iestyn Harris and Paul Deacon complemented each other incredibly well. Though the duo lost the 2004 Grand Final to Leeds, they came back with a bang a year later to defeat the Rhinos, with Harris and Deacon taking the game by the scruff of the neck. That would be the Bulls’ last foray at Old Trafford and the beginning of the end of the Bradford Golden Era. Deacon also won the 2003 Challenge Cup Final, but Harris was not his halfback partner, rather it was Leon Pryce.

3. Robbie Paul and Henry Paul

Brothers in arms at Bradford, if you were able to catch up with one, you’d miss the other. Robbie Paul and Henry Paul had already taken the field together in the 1999 Grand Final and, despite Henry being awarded the Harry Sunderland trophy, the Bulls had come out as losers that day. The duo weren’t to be denied in the Challenge Cup a year later though or in the Grand Final two years on, as they ran alongside each other to claim an emphatic 37-6 victory over Wigan.

2. Leon Pryce and Sean Long

They were together for four seasons, but Leon Pryce and Sean Long revolutionised the halfback partnership in the late 2000s. The duo were at the heart of the St Helens side that won the treble in 2006 – with Long winning the Lance Todd trophy in that year’s Challenge Cup Final – and they continued to win trophies together, with the World Club Challenge and Challenge Cup coming once more the year after with Pryce sharing the Lance Todd trophy in the latter with Paul Wellens. The duo did, however, lose the Grand Final three years in a row between 2007 and 2009 – ironically to the same team, Leeds which is why they remain in second place.

1. Danny McGuire, Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow

You think of a legendary Super League halfback combination and the one that immediately springs to mind is Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow, but at times, Kevin Sinfield would get the nod at stand-off, making this a threesome rather than a duo. McGuire and Burrow both played in the 2004 Grand Final victory over Bradford, but didn’t partner each other in the halves as Sinfield took the number 6 jersey and McGuire the 7. However, McGuire and Burrow were at the crux of Leeds’ success in the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Grand Finals, with Rob Burrow winning the Harry Sunderland trophy in ’07. McGuire and Burrow would play in the 2011 and 2012 Grand Final wins, but Burrow would once more play at hooker and again in 2015 and from the bench in 2017. Sinfield would also partner McGuire in the 2014 Challenge Cup Final victory over Castleford.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. James Eddleston

    April 13, 2021 at 6:10 am

    Tommy Martyn and Sean Long should definitely be on this list. Martyn never gets the recognition that he deserves.

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