Unknown to most but the Swinton Lions deserve plaudits as they roared away from extinction to fight another day.
The Lions did endure another season of struggle, as most would expect, but they also faced bankruptcy due to some off field issues.
But they managed to pull through and survive and credit where it’s due as they added survival in the Kingstone Press Championship too on top of their very own existence.
Maybe a turning point in their history but for now, let’s view just how 2017 went for them and whether they will be back any stronger in 2018.
Best Performance: Swinton Lions 27-20 Toulouse Olympique
One of the biggest shocks of the season in the sport itself arguably, Swinton recorded a memorable 27-20 home win over red hot and full-time outfit Toulouse Olympique.
Both side’s exchanged four tries apiece, but the kicking expertise of Chris Atkin saw them through.
Namely, Connor Dwyer starred with a hat-trick with Andy Thornley adding another.
Toulouse did respond through Rhys Curran, Kuni Minga, Paul Marcon, Gavin Marguerite but Atkin’s five conversions and a field-goal saw the Lions through.
A result not many, if any, would have seen coming considering the form of both sides heading into the encounter.
Swinton had only won two matches all season whereas the French were on the back of home wins over Hull KR and Bradford so such a result was a major surprise.
But well done to Swinton, you never say die and it was ultimately a two points that helped them towards survival, keeping the sport alive in their vicinity in fine style!