Jamie Jones-Buchanan admits Leeds will need to match Warrington’s energy and enthusiasm in today’s semi-final if they are to avoid more Tetley’s Challenge Cup misery.
The 33-year-old back-rower was part of the Rhinos sides that lost to Wire in the 2010 and 2012 finals, two of six defeats in the showpiece since the Headingley club last won the cup in 1999.
The make-up of the Wolves squad has changed since the last of those victories, with Lance Todd Trophy winners Lee Briers and Brett Hodgson retiring and Garreth Carvell and Adrian Morley moving on to pastures new.
Those departures left Warrington with a relatively inexperienced squad at the start of this season and it showed as they lost six of their first 11 Super League fixtures.
Tony Smith’s men went on to win 10 matches in a row in all competitions following their shock defeat at Bradford in May, including a thumping victory over Leeds which has left the Rhinos in no doubt as to what to expect at Langtree Park.
“I think one of the key ingredients for Warrington is their energy and enthusiasm. What they are missing in experience they’ve certainly replaced with enthusiasm,” said Jones-Buchanan.
“They’re a great offloading side and are one of these teams that can play with structure or can just play off the cuff.
“If you look to break rugby league down into different aspects of a game, Warrington are eight, nine, 10 out of 10 in all of them.
“They’re no strangers to winning Challenge Cups and a lot of their team are still there now. They know what it’s like to feel that and I’m sure they’ll want to try and get that for their group of young players that are coming through.”