Jamie Jones-Buchanan believes the World Club Challenge is important for the development of Super League
Jamie Jones-Buchanan admits the World Club Challenge has taken its toll on Leeds Rhinos but believes the competition is well worth the “sacrifice” made by the Super League team.
The Rhinos were comfortably defeated 38-4 by the Melbourne Storm earlier this month, while the Wigan Warriors and Hull FC also lost to NRL opposition in Australia.
All three teams suffered defeats on their return to Super League action last weekend, with a depleted Leeds going down 23-6 at Widnes, but Jones-Buchanan believes the long trip to Australia is a sacrifice worth taking.
“It is what it is,” said Jones-Buchanan. “I always take that fireman/GI Joe mentality that you have to be ready for anything. Get out of bed and go and play the day after, if you have to.
“That’s what a lot of rugby league players’ mentality is. It is a factor, isn’t it? One or two of the lads were struggling and a bit stiff with the 24 hours on a plane.
“You’ve got to get on with it. All the teams lost, they were a bit jaded maybe, but it is a challenge and it’s one of those things that we all learn from.
“If it is a sacrifice that we have to make to continue the World Club Series, I’m happy to make it. I think going over to Australia and challenging the NRL clubs is really, really important for Super League.”
Leeds had 12 players missing for the trip to Widnes and Jones-Buchanan admits the home side fully deserved to win.
The Rhinos lost to Widnes on their return to Super League action
“Was it 12? I’ve been telling everyone 10 when I’ve been making my excuses,” joked Jones-Buchanan. “It is always difficult when you’ve got so many players out injured but it’s early doors, it’s early on in the season.
“You’ve got to give credit to Widnes. I thought they had a lot more desire, they looked like they had a lot more energy, the executed their plays really well and they are a good side.
“I think they’ve beaten us for the last few years now at their place. It’s always a very difficult venue to play and they got their just rewards.
“Back to drawing board for us, back on the wagon and we’ll work hard this week.”