5. Salford take-over
The season began with the news that Salford City Reds had been taken over by wealthy racehorse owner, Marwan Koukash. He made his ambitions clear early on. When commenting on the purchase of the club, he said, “This is a very exciting day for Salford City Reds and a momentous day for Rugby League.” The Jordan-born owner has kept his promise of ambition, bringing in a whole host of exciting talent to Salford, such as Rangi Chase and Gareth Hock. The future looks bright for the newly branded Salford Red Devils.
4. Magic Weekend derby controversy
One of the most controversial stories of the season saw video referee Steve Ganson apologise for an error which cost Hull K.R in a fiercely contested derby match against Hull F.C. The incident saw Ganson, the video referee for the Magic Weekend clash, deem that Chris Green was not offside when he beat Greg Eden to a high kick to score a try which gave the black and whites a dramatic 22-16 victory. The error sparked a huge reaction within the Super League community with many, such as Warrington coach Tony Smith, calling for a review of the video refereeing system.
3. London Broncos demise
Last year’s campaign was far from memorable for London Broncos fans with the team suffering on and off the pitch and November saw the Broncos go into administration. A number of players and backroom staff have left the club since the end of the season, however, their situation looks somewhat brighter having secured a deal with Barnet F.C to share their stadium as a base for next season’s home games.
2. Vale Steve Prescott
Also in November, the Rugby League world was saddened to hear of the death of Steve Prescott after a long battle with cancer. Tributes poured in from all involved in Rugby League for the 39-year-old who enjoyed a career with the likes of Hull F.C and St. Helens. He is widely regarded as a legend by both clubs. His charity work and battle with illness was nothing short of incredible, leading to calls for the Man of Steel award to be renamed in his honour.
1. Sam Tomkins heads to NRL
Finally, in September, Super League’s worst-kept secret was confirmed with Sam Tomkins moving to New Zealand Warriors from Wigan for a world record fee. The 2012 Man of Steel winner agreed a three-year deal with the Warriors, who reportedly paid £700,000 for his services. Reacting to the transfer, Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said: “While we are reluctant to let Sam go, he goes with our blessing.”