By Liam Williams
Leeds Rhinos forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan is relishing the prospect of opening the defending champions’ Super League play-off campaign against Warrington Wolves at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday September 14 (3.00pm).
The fixture is a repeat of last year’s Super League Grand Final, which the Rhinos won 26-18, but with the Wolves coming into the play-offs having won 11 of their last 12 games, including a 19-18 victory over Leeds in July, Jones-Buchanan knows getting off to a winning start will not be an easy task.
“We played well last time out against Wigan so we’ll take a lot from that, but preparation is key in any walk of life, especially sport, and we know we’ll have to be on our game against Warrington,” said Jones-Buchanan.
“Our preparation all year long has been about sharpening our tools and getting ready for the big games.
“Obviously we were really disappointed in the Challenge Cup that we didn't get as far as we'd have liked, but there's still a Super League trophy to be had and we're really looking forward to it.
“You can't win everything, we know that, but there's a massive opportunity in front of us now. We've had that feeling before and we all want it again.”
Leeds were knocked out of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup in the fifth round this season but Jones-Buchanan believes that could prove beneficial to the squad as the season builds towards its climax at Old Trafford on Saturday October 5.
“Sometimes you learn as much from losing as you do from winning and at least it gives you that opportunity to freshen up for the play-offs,” he said.
“Kev Sinfield for example is playing nearly 40 games every year, and that takes its toll physically and mentally so being that little bit fresher can only help us.
“When you're nearing the end of a game and the score's close, knowing how to strangle a game to death can be a key thing. We've got some fantastic players in Kevand Jamie Peacock who are immensely wise and talented at knowing how to do that. We’re going into the play-offs in a very positive mood.”
Tickets for the Warrington Wolves v Leeds Rhinos play-off game at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday September 14 (3.00pm) cost from £19 for adults, £13 for concessions and £5 for junior and can be purchased by calling the Warrington ticket office on 08448 111176.
Tickets for the 2013 Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday October 5 (6.00pm) cost from just £20. Family tickets giving entry to two adults and two children are also available for £70 and can be purchased by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or calling 0844 856 1113.
For people with any form of disability the RFL offers a free assistant place when booking tickets. For people with a visual impairment or non-sighted disability we also offer audio visual descriptive commentary for all our events.