Rhinos star braced for derby day against Halifax

Jamie Jones-Buchanan.
Jamie Jones-Buchanan.
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LEEDS RHINOS veteran Jamie Jones-Buchanan will be on yellow alert for tomorrow’s clash with Halifax.

The 38-year-old is Rhinos’ lone survivor from their last visit to The Shay, in March, 2003.

He was sin-binned for obstruction that evening as Leeds held on for a tense 20-14 win – and reckons it will be another tough 80 minutes tomorrow.

“Some of the lads have been asking me if I’ve ever played against Halifax,” Jones-Buchanan said.

“They got relegated in 2003, but I’ve played against them a fair few times and I remember getting sin-binned at The Shay, one of the few sin-binnings of my career.

“I can’t remember what for, but I don’t think I did it anyway, I don’t think it was me!

“I do remember Daryl Powell coaching us and not being too happy with it, but it is a bit of a local derby and Halifax are a proud club with a lot of history and heritage.

“Having Leeds back at their place is going to be a big occasion for them and I think it’ll be a big crowd and they’ll come at us with a lot of enthusiasm.

“I know Halifax probably don’t have much to play for in terms of points on the board, but against the current champions and a local rival club like Leeds it will be a massive one for them.”

Victory tomorrow could effectively secure Rhinos’ place in Super League for next season, but Jones-Buchanan stressed: “Everybody keeps talking about survival and we need these points to stay up, but I am looking beyond that.

“At the end of the season we are usually very good and this is the time of year when we win things.

“Certainly from my own personal perspective, I want to finish top of the Middle Eights.

“I know there’s a big difference in points difference and Salford are sitting pretty at the top, but if we perform well in these next couple of games there’s no reason why we can’t finish top.”

Brad Singleton captains Leeds who are without the banned Brett Ferres and Mikolaj Oledzki but have Anthony Mullally and Ashton Golding returning.

Halifax loose forward Simon Grix (head) has failed in his bid to be fit in time but Ste Tyrer could return from a knee injury.