Jones-Buchanan: Leeds must improve

Jamie Jones-Buchanan says Leeds Rhinos will have to put their league defeat by Wigan to one side if they want to beat St Helens in this weekend’s Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final.


The Rhinos are currently fifth in the engage Super League table after a 26-12 home defeat to the Warriors.


They face St Helens for a place in the cup final at the Galpharm Stadium this Saturday, and Jones-Buchanan believes a win could make amends for relatively poor league form.


“Everybody was gutted and cheesed off on Friday,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “But we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. There’s something special for us to play for this week – the chance of getting to Wembley.


“That would make a bit of amends for Friday and for some of what has gone on this season, in terms of where we are in the league.


“It is really important for us and a big goal for a lot of lads in the team, because most of us haven’t won the Challenge Cup.


“It is a big opportunity. The Challenge Cup is a different competition and it brings the best out of people. We’ve been great in it so far this year, in the big games, and we’ll need to be great again on Saturday.”


Leeds beat Wigan 12-20 at Headingley in the quarter finals in May, but haven’t lifted the Challenge Cup since 1999 when they defeated London Broncos in the last cup final before the redevelopment of Wembley.


Jones-Buchanan believes that the side has to make a noticeable improvement if they want to get past St Helens.


“Some of the tries we let in on Friday were five seconds of madness, which cost us. We have got to be a bit more composed and play with less panic.


“We did way too much defending and a lot of things didn’t go our way. Defending takes it out of you and it’s harder to attack and throw something back at them.


“We have got to pick ourselves back up, but there’s a big performance in us, definitely. We need to be smart this week, look after our bodies and get up for Friday.


“We have got a full week to recover and that’s a good thing.”

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