It is a question that is often asked around the rugby league community, what would the Super League look like if loop fixtures didn’t exist?
To try and answer that question, I ran a simulation of every Super League match home and away for each side.
So what actually happened?
As expected, Saints were comfortable at the top of the Super League. With 40 points from a possible 44, Justin Holbrook’s men only suffered two defeats at the hands of London Broncos and Catalans Dragons.
However, their closest challengers were Warrington Wolves. Steve Price’s men finished 12 points behind Saints but led a closely contested race between the rest of the chasing pack.
Wigan Warriors and Hull FC came next with 26 points each, with the Warriors edging the Black and Whites for third place.
Salford Red Devils completed the top five with 24 points.
Just missing out on a place in the playoffs was Catalans Dragons. Steve McNamara’s men finished just two points behind Salford, but they did have a much inferior points difference.
Another two points behind was Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity. Both finished on 20 points with the Tigers finishing higher due to a significantly higher points difference.
Jumping now from the race to get into the playoffs to the race to avoid relegation, Leeds Rhinos came next with 16 points after a turbulent season.
Huddersfield Giants and London Broncos both just avoided the drop with 12 points apiece.
Finally, the team that would have been relegated was Hull KR. It went to the final day, but ultimately, it was a nasty sense of Deja vu as an extra-time drop goal from Salford sent them back to the Championship after two seasons back.