Video - Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC: Hooker Parcell’s aiming to turn up the heat after big freeze

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LEEDS RHINOS are determined to turn up the heat tonight after their scheduled return to Emerald Headingley was put on ice.

Rhinos will take on Hull six days after heavy snow caused their home Betfred Super League clash with Catalans Dragons to be postponed.

Matt Parcell in actoin for Leeds against Hull in last year's Super League semi-final. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Matt Parcell in actoin for Leeds against Hull in last year's Super League semi-final. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Hooker Matt Parcell admitted a weekend off was the last thing Rhinos needed following their first league defeat of the season, but he believes it could prove a blessing in disguise.

“After the Widnes game we wanted to get out there and play again,” Parcell said.

“We have had a bit longer between games and I think for us it is probably a good thing in the long-run. We are obviously going through a fair few injuries at the moment and it was taxing going to Australia and coming back.

“Everyone was pretty fatigued in that Widnes game and it showed in the display. We weren’t very happy with it, but now we’ve got a chance to change it around.”

The biggest thing I learned last year is it is a very long season, but it is definitely important to keep in touch early on.

Leeds Rhinos’ Matt Parcell

Hull’s home game against Warrington Wolves went ahead last Friday and a 21-12 win kept them in touch with the early leaders. Parcell is expecting a tight and tense contest and he noted: “They had a tough game last week and they got back to winning ways.

“Every time we played Hull last year it was tough and they were good games so we are looking forward to another one.”

Rhinos only lost back-to-back games once last year – and never in Super League – and Parcell admitted they need to show similar determination tonight.

He said: “Last year we took pride in, after we had a defeat or a poor performance, bouncing back really well.

Leeds Rhinos hooker, Matt Parcell. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Leeds Rhinos hooker, Matt Parcell. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

“We have got to show that again this week. Everyone’s keen to make up for the Widnes game.”

Rhinos also need the points to keep tabs on early pacesetters St Helens and Wakefield Trinity.

“They have had very good starts,” Parcell said. “The biggest thing I learned last year is it is a very long season, but it is definitely important to keep in touch early on.”

After last week’s postponement, tonight will be Rhinos’ first game at Emerald Headingley since they beat Hull in a Betfred Super League semi-final on September 29 last year.

The new South Stand will be partially open for the first time and the game is also the debut of the all-seated temporary North Stand.

Capacity is limited to around 12,000, but all four sides of the ground will be open and Parcell said: “I’m pretty excited to see what it’s like.

“The last few games of last year, without the South Stand there, it was pretty quiet. It will be good to get a few people back there and a bit of noise.”

But the Aussie insisted the unusual atmosphere will have no bearing on Rhinos’ performance.

“It is just something we’ve got to deal with,” he added. “It is new for all of us – where the changing rooms are and things like that – so it will be an experience, but it will be good to get out there. It is always good to play at Headingley.”

Rhinos have urged fans, particularly those with tickets for the North Stand, to arrive early tonight.