Leeds Rhinos v Wakefield Trinity: Aussie nine adds new dimension to Rhinos

Matt Parcell
Matt Parcell

AUSSIE HOOKER Matt Parcell is still learning about his Leeds Rhinos team-mates, but feels he is starting to gel in his new side.

Parcell joined Rhinos in January from Manly Sea Eagles and has played in all five Betfred Super League games so far, opening his try account against Catalans Dragons last Friday.

Adam Cuthbertson celebrates scoring with Matt Parcell.

Adam Cuthbertson celebrates scoring with Matt Parcell.

Parcell’s understanding with prop Adam Cuthbertson, who crashed over twice from passes by the no9 in Rhinos’ 46-10 victory, has given Leeds a new dimension on attack and the hooker reckons hard work during and after training is beginning to pay off.

“I’m continuing to work combinations,” Parcell said. “I’ve got a bit of a combination going with Cuthbo, which is good.

“We do a bit of work together after training and he is a good player. He is not a typical front-rower, he reads the game really well and that’s good for me and for both of us.

“We’ll continue to work on it and hopefully we can continue to improve.”

Danny McGuire

Danny McGuire

Parcell has also had four games to get to know Leeds’ skipper and half-back Danny McGuire.

“We are five games in now and most of them we’ve played with different halves,” he said.

“That makes it a little bit tough, but we are starting to get the combinations going now and last Friday showed that when we do get going we can score some points.

“We’ll keep working on our attack and see how it goes.”

It hasn’t been the easiest of starts to Parcell’s Super League career, with Rhinos losing twice in the opening month including a record defeat at Castleford Tigers.

But Parcell said he has no regrets about his move from the NRL.

“I am very happy,” he insisted.

“As the season goes on I am looking forward to the pitches drying up and getting a bit of sun and making it faster, so I am looking forward to the games to come.”

Tonight’s visitors Wakefield Trinity have won their last three games at Headingley, including two Christmas fixtures.

They are on a two-game winning run in Super League and Parcell is expecting another tough derby.

“We needed to bounce back after the Cas game and we did so everyone’s in good spirits coming into this week,” he said.

“I have watched a few of the Australian players at Wakefield – Sam Williams and Dave Fifita. We have done our preview on the game and had a look at them.

“It is another challenge and another good opportunity I think. They had a good win last week so they’ll be coming with plenty of confidence.

“It’s a good game.”

A win would keep Rhinos in Super League’s top-four, though they have played one game more than most of their rivals.

Parcell said: “We need to kick on from last week.

“It’s another home game so it’s a good opportunity to work towards another win and continue on from what we did against Catalans.

“We’ve got chance to get on a bit of a roll now.”