Rhinos | JJB reflects on winning the Grand Final
Leeds Rhinos lifted the Super League trophy at Old Trafford on Saturday, following a record 8th Grand Final win as they beat Castleford Tigers 24-6.
Rhinos veteran Jamie Jones Buchanan has been talking to Radio Yorkshire about the success:
"It feels good. They all have a narrative, or a story behind them and this one is quiet special given what happened in 2016 almost getting relegated and fighting in the middle 8s.
"To power back with only one real addition in Matt Parcell, who has been phenomenal and been like Superman. He was the only difference.
"At the beginning of the season when got well beaten at Cas, I think Brian McDermott said "This team could make the Grand Final" everyone thought what planet is he on, is he mad? He was right, we got there and managed to win it so really happy."
The Rhinos were appearing in their tenth Grand Final and the overcame a Tigers side who were appearing in just their first Super League final at Old Trafford. Jones Buchanan was quick to praise them:
"First and foremost credit to Cas they have been outstanding. To finish ten points in front of second is unreal. Some of the players who have stood up like Gale, Millington, Milner and Massey have been great.
"Unfortunately it didn't work out for them (on Saturday), but on my journey I've lost a lot of finals as well. What I have learnt is regardless of whether you win or lose, you have to learn from that experience."
It was the Rhinos eighth win in ten attempts at Old Trafford and the veteran ackonwledges it's a place where the Rhinos enjoy playing:
"We seem to take in and absorb the atmosphere, the occasion, even the weather at Old Trafford. It's very much smash and grab. A bus load of players go over there, get off and go in and get 20 odd rings and get straight back out!"
As in 2015, when Sinfield, Peacock and Leuluai retired, players will move on to pastures new, with Rob Burrow retiring and Danny McGuire leaving to join Super League rivals Hull KR.
"Players like Rob and Danny will always be a part of this club. They are a part of my heart and they will be forever. I've spent a lot of time with those lads. I am glad we sent Magsy off in the best possible fashion, cos when he comes back with Hull KR next year I am going to knock his head off. He would be disappointed if I didn't!"
As two stalwarts leave the club, Jones Buchanan was quick to praise the upcoming talent and in particular young full back Jack Walker who became the youngest ever player to win the Grand Final aged just 18 years old:
"He has the confidence. You would think he has been playing ten years. He is such a young kid, you start to ask yourself how good is he going to be in three or four years when he has got a few games under his belt and he is starting to find his feet?"
You can download the latest Rugby League on Radio Yorkshire podcast where Garry Schofield, Phil Caplan, Mark Wilson and Richard Shaw Wright look back to the Grand Final. There is also plenty of England chat as the guys look ahead to the World Cup in Australia.