Leeds Rhinos: ‘Ref-bump’ ban came as a big shock to Matt Parcell

Leeds Rhinos' Matt Parcell.
Leeds Rhinos' Matt Parcell.
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The incidents which led to the first ban of his career were both a complete accident, Leeds Rhinos hooker Matt Parcell says.

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James Child.

James Child.

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The Australian picked up two separate one-game suspensions for colliding with referee James Child during Rhinos’ win over London Broncos at the Magic Weekend 12 days ago.

The Rugby Football League’s match review panel had taken no action after he came into contact with referee Chris Kendall in Leeds’ previous game against Castleford Tigers.

Parcell was shocked by the penalty notices, but opted to accept the punishment rather than risk the bans being increased if he launched an appeal.

Chris Kendall.

Chris Kendall.

He insisted: “They were both complete accidents.

“Looking back on the film, for one of them they made a break down the side, I am looking at the fella running and then, two steps to go, I see the referee and by then it’s too late.

“The second time, we put a kick up and the ball just bounced in a different direction.

“I was running to chase the ball and he just stepped into me.

Kallum Watkins.

Kallum Watkins.

“I have never been charged with anything before and to get banned over a complete accident [is disappointing], but it is what it is.”

Parcell admitted there is little he can do to avoid similar incidents in the future.

“I was at home on the Monday night and I got a message to say it [the charges] had happened,” he added.

“I couldn’t believe it, to be honest.”

The suspensions mean Parcell will miss tomorrow’s derby at Wakefield Trinity and the home clash with Wigan Warriors in a week’s time.

He will be eligible for the trip to Betfred Super League leaders St Helens the following Friday.

“I just have to get on with it,” he said.

“I’ll do a couple of weeks’ hard training and just try and keep fit and work as hard as I can off the field and be ready to go when I can play again.

“There’s no point dwelling over it, it has happened so I’ve just got to get over it and train as hard as I can and hopefully come back a bit stronger and fitter.”

Rhinos will aim to record back-to-back Super League wins for the first time in more than a year this evening.

Parcell noted: “We got a win at Magic, we probably made it a lot harder than we needed to, but I was playing good and felt good and felt fit so it has come at a bad time, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Meanwhile, Parcell confirmed captain Kallum Watkins’ decision to leave Rhinos at the end of this season came as a surprise to his team-mates.

Watkins and the club have agreed a release from the final two years of his contract.

Parcell said: “It was a massive shock but, hopefully, he will be remembered for his amazing career here.

“When I came over in 2017 he was unbelievable, devastating. I hope he gets remembered for his whole career here and not just the last six months.”