KEY MAN Matt Parcell says Leeds Rhinos’ players have to take full responsibility for their recent poor form.
Rhinos have won only three of 11 Betfred Super League games since a shock victory at tonight’s visitors St Helens three months ago.
But Parcell insisted there is no unrest or unhappiness behind the scenes and he says the only way to climb out of their current hole is by playing better rugby.
“Injuries are having an effect, but saying that, we’ve just got to be better,” stressed the Australian hooker.
“Comparing it to last year, we’re just not taking our chances on attack as well as we should. There’s as many guys pushing up or players in support and we’re not making the breaks we should be.
“When we look at it, it’s not that far off, if it just goes another pass or another guy pushes up we can fix it.
Injuries are having an effect, but saying that, we’ve just got to be better,Matt Parcell
“We have got to do it as a group and everyone’s up for the challenge so we’ll see how it goes.”
Rhinos will be without at least nine first-choice players due to injury tonight and a couple more are in doubt.
Parcell admitted: “It is a tough one at the moment because it just seems like it goes one step forwards and two steps back.
“Every week we seem to be losing two or three guys by half-time and it sort of has a knock on effect where other guys have to play longer minutes than they normally do and they probably don’t have the effect they normally would.
“But the last time we played Saints we had a lot of guys out and nobody gave us a chance.
“We are in the same position now, so I hope we can do the same thing.”
Four successive defeats have left Rhinos seventh in the table, only three points outside the bottom-four.
Five points from their final six games of the regular season should be enough to secure a place in the Super-8s and Parcell said: “We have put ourselves in a position now where we need to win a lot of games.
“But saying that, I feel like if we can get on a bit of a run we will be all right.
“I think once we do find that bit of form we can go on quite a run.”
Saints are six points clear at the top of the table and haven’t lost since Wakefield Trinity beat them exactly two months ago.
“We know it’s going to be a challenge, but this is why you play,” Parcell said of tonight’s task.
“We are up against a bit of adversity at the moment, everybody’s pretty disappointed after last week [a home defeat by Huddersfield Giants] and there’s no better way to show that than by going out and playing well.”
Saints’ star man is Australian full-back Ben Barba and Parcell warned: “He is going really well.
“He was always going to, he is an unbelievable player and he was always going to find form.
“He is playing really, really well and obviously he is a massive threat for them.
“If we are going to win we will have to contain him.”
Meanwhile, Parcell – who is in his second season with Leeds – played down speculation linking him with a return to Australia’s NRL.
“There’s always rumours,” he said. “I don’t get too much involved in that.”
The hooker confirmed he is happy at Leeds. He added: “We’d like to be a bit higher up the table, but it’s all good.”