Jamie Jones-Buchanan reveals which two coaches he tried to emulate as Leeds Rhinos interim boss

Last night was Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan’s last game as interim coach of his boyhood club and he couldn’t have asked for a better end to his short stint in charge.

The Rhinos made it back-to-back wins with a 12-0 triumph at the expense of the in form Hull KR. What was perhaps even better than the result was the performance. A Leeds side with players out of position and three teenagers involved battled to victory even keeping one of the league’s best attacks scoreless.

This performance along with the gradual improvement of performance overseen by Buchanan especially in defence has formed the perfect base for Rohan Smith to begin building the project he wants at Headingley when he arrives this week.

Smith text Buchanan after the game and the former Leeds backrow responded saying the squad are ready for their new coach’s arrival: “Rohan’s just text me and I’ve text him back to say ‘they’re all yours’ and they’re ready.”

Buchanan also reflected on his time as Leeds boss and what he tried to achieve in the role. He also identified the two coaches who he tried to emulate as he led his boyhood club: “I’ve been trying to build that bedrock so he can plant any seeds that he wants, but I know what I’ve been trying to do with them is what I was been taught by Tony Smith back in the day and understanding what a good culture looks like and feels like and the work that needs to be invested.

“A lot of our systems have come from Brian McDermott. That’s what we do, we pull a mosaic of what we’ve learnt together and some of it is some crazy ideas of my own which keeps the boys laughing.”

Now ready to hand control over to Rohan Smith, Buchanan spoke highly of the experiences he’s enjoyed as Head Coach: “The thing I’ve enjoyed the most is what I’ve learnt about myself and what I do want to do and what I don’t want to do and also the fact I’ve not been too indecisive.

“It’s always about the people. My favourite thing is the galvanising of relationships with people, I’m that much closer now with the players.

“Coaching and leadership are two different things. I’ve really enjoyed the leadership side, the holistic side whether we’re walking from the carpark and having a deep conversation with a player trying to encourage them or if you’re telling them where to kick the ball or where to play it, the totality of it is what I’ve enjoyed.

“I want to thank our fans, they’ve been outstanding. Everybody has been brilliant and supportive and just thank our staff as well.”

So, it seems Buchanan has enjoyed his time as interim boss but is ready to hand Leeds on to Rohan Smith who he is tipping for success: “For now I’ll leave it to Rohan. He’ll be outstanding.”

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