Jamie Jones-Buchanan sees building blocks despite Leeds Rhinos being nilled by St Helens

HE ADMITTED the scoreline was unacceptable, but Jamie Jones-Buchanan insisted there were some encouraging signs in Leeds Rhinos’ 26-0 defeat by St Helens on Friday night.

By Peter Smith
Friday, 1st April 2022, 11:02 pm
Updated Friday, 1st April 2022, 11:02 pm

Rhinos trailed only 8-0 at half-time and were still in the game until Saints scored the third of their five tries with 25 minutes left.

Leeds’ seventh defeat in eight competitive games this year leaves them second from bottom in Betfred Super League, above Toulouse Olympique on points difference.

The interim-coach said: “I was desperate for a performance, or certainly a response.

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Doing the splits: Leeds Rhinos’ Cameron Smith, centre, is nearly pulled apart by two St Helens players during another tough night at Headingley. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“26-0 is never, ever going to be good enough for Leeds Rhinos, but I feel some of the building blocks we wanted to put in place were there.”

He added: “I was encouraged by some of what I saw.”

“I know St Helens weren’t at full-strength, but add David Fusituya, Harry Newman, Richie Myler, Zane Tetevano, Brad Dwyer and Tom Holroyd to that mix, then you’re going to start executing and finishing off a few more plays, scoring tries and things will look a little bit different.

“I am disappointed with the result, but really excited with what tools we’ve got to work with in the next couple of weeks.”

Matt Prior is held short of the line. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Scrum-half Aidan Sezer missed the game with a groin injury, but Jones-Buchanan confirmed James Bentley passed his head injury assessment after being taken off in the second half.