Super League: A look at the 2016 season in which there were tears, tries & goodbyes

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Dorn recommends Super League stint
Super League Show Review of 2016
Coverage: BBC One (northern regions) Saturday, 10 December 13:15 GMT. Repeated on BBC Two Tuesday, 13 December 13:00 GMT and on iPlayer.

From the glory of Wembley and Old Trafford to the stark reality of relegation, Super League had excitement and incident from week one to the crescendo that is the Grand Final.

Wigan lifted the big prize while Hull FC ended a Wembley jinx, but there were headlines throughout the league.

Ahead of Saturday's Super League Show Review of 2016, BBC Sport takes a look at some of those highlights, and lowlights seen in a thrilling campaign.

Cherry and White delight

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2016 triumph was Wigan's best - Wane

Wigan overcame a gritty Warrington side 12-6 on 8 October, ending their two-year run of defeats at Old Trafford in their fourth straight Grand Final.

The success was set against a backdrop of adversity, with major absentees such as Sam Tomkins, Joel Tomkins and Michael McIlorum throughout the campaign.

However, the Warriors lived up to their name with a show of character when it mattered.

"People don't know the detail of what went on, having conversations with physios and coaches," head coach Shaun Wane told the BBC Super League Show.

"We had tough chats, we all wanted one thing - to win something. The majority of fans stuck by us and I was pleased for them. Us winning the Grand Final was the best I've ever had."

Hull FC split between joy and despair

Hull FC celebrate Challenge Cup
Hull FC ended their Challenge Cup hoodoo with victory against Warrington

The west of Hull proudly wore its black and white during a campaign in which Hull FC were a genuine title threat and even lifted their Wembley curse by beating Warrington in the 2016 Challenge Cup final.

Although Lee Radford's side came unstuck at the play-off semi-final stage, there was much to be proud of, including a Man of Steel award for hooker Danny Houghton.

By absolute contrast, the east side was left devastated when Hull Kingston Rovers lost their Million Pound Game tussle with Salford, and were relegated to the Championship for 2016.

It was a big shock for Rovers, who even saw football manager Jamie Peacock come out of retirement. Next season will see former Australia World Cup winning boss and Salford director of rugby Tim Sheens becomes their head coach.

"We can come back up, we've a world class coach in Tim," Peacock said.

"We're getting value out of the squad, our spine looks good and a mix of young players and experienced players who know what they're doing. We're laying great foundations."

New 'old' name in Super League

With Rovers dropping out, a 'new' name appears in the 2017 Super League fixtures in the shape of Leigh Centurions.

The Centurions were relegated from the top tier in 2005 and had not been back since, but returned to the elite after a season of success under head coach Neil Jukes.

Leigh have dominated the Championship in recent seasons, and are excited now about taking on a new challenge.

"We can't be rabbits in the headlights, we've got to enjoy it," Jukes said.

Local-lad Micky Higham added: "People around the town are saying 'I can't wait, I've got my season ticket', I think half of Leigh are going to Catalans."

Favourites falter

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'Leeds will come back stronger'

Leeds and Huddersfield were among the pre-season favourites to contest the major honours, notably the Rhinos who came into the season on the back of treble success in 2015.

However, it unravelled quickly for both, in particular for Brian McDermott's Leeds, without talismanic Kevin Sinfield who crossed codes to Yorkshire Carnegie and Jamie Peacock through retirement.

Injuries stretched the squad further and it was not until James Segeyaro's arrival and the return to fitness of Stevie Ward later in the campaign that they returned to anywhere close to their best form.

As for the Giants, they started badly, continued badly and were not thoroughly convincing toward the end either.

New head coach Rick Stone did enough though to save their Super League status thanks to a nerveless drop goal from Danny Brough to settle a memorable 'shoot-out' against Hull KR

All 12 Super League clubs will be featured in the 2016 Super League season's review.

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