'It's bittersweet': Jamie Jones-Buchanan reflects on time as Leeds Rhinos boss after Hull KR win

Jamie Jones-Buchanan will hand over the reins to Rohan Smith with mixed feelings after watching Leeds Rhinos nil Hull KR in his final game as interim head coach.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan watches on during Leeds' win over Hull KR. (Picture: SWPix.com)
Jamie Jones-Buchanan watches on during Leeds' win over Hull KR. (Picture: SWPix.com)

The Rhinos were down to the bare bones with as many as 13 players sidelined but they dug deep to make it back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Smith will look to build on the good work done by Jones-Buchanan when he arrives in Leeds on Tuesday.

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"It's bittersweet," said Jones-Buchanan.

Morgan Gannon celebrates his try against Hull KR. (Picture: SWPix.com)

"I've really enjoyed myself. It's been the most enlightening month of my life. I've learned so much and it'll only help my development.

"Rohan has texted me and I sent one back saying, 'They're all yours, they're ready for it'.

"I've been trying to build that proverbial bedrock for him to pick up and plant whatever seeds that he wants."

The new Leeds boss will have the best part of two weeks to work with the players before the next game at Salford Red Devils on May 15.

With several players due back after the break, Jones-Buchanan is excited about what is in store under Smith.

"He's going to be outstanding," said Jones-Buchanan.

"Look how many players we've got to come back in. I'm just looking around the walls of players that we've got to come back in.

"Some of those three v twos and opportunities that are presenting themselves that we're not executing very well through lack of experience, we'll nail that in a few weeks and be a dangerous team."

Jones-Buchanan is set to return to his role as an assistant coach and will do so having steadied the ship.

After the club's worst-ever start to a season, the Rhinos have taken five points from the last four games to move up to ninth in the Super League table.

Jones-Buchanan had to draw on all his experience during a testing period, even taking inspiration from the man in the opposition camp on Friday night.

"A lot of what I've been trying to do with them is what I was taught by Tony Smith back in the day, understanding what a good culture looks like and where the work needs to be invested," said Jones-Buchanan, who worked with the current KR head coach at Leeds between 2004 and 2007.

"A lot of our systems have come from Brian McDermott. That's what we do, isn't it? We just pull a mosaic of what we've learned together.

"Some of it is a few crazy ideas of my own that keep the boys laughing. But they're fed up of hearing animal-based parables now. I've got 13 of 20 that I still need to tell them!

"For now, I'll leave it to Rohan."