My Leeds Rhinos days are over, says Hull KR loanee Matt Parcell
LOAN signing Matt Parcell says his dream Hull KR debut was made possible due to former Leeds Rhinos team-mates Danny McGuire and Mitch Garbutt – and he never expects to play for the Headingley club again.
The Australian hooker earned man-of-the-match in Thursday’s thrilling 18-10 derby win over Hull FC.
Parcell had only arrived the day before on loan for the rest of the season but instantly looked at ease in a Rovers side who stunned their high-flying rivals and lifted off Super League’s bottom spot.
The 26-year-old had been out of favour at Leeds – who subsequently dropped into the relegation place – but showed all his class and even scored a match-clinching try in the 79th minute.
That came after a runaround with Garbutt, the impressive prop with whom he won the 2017 Grand Final at Rhinos but who was also discarded by the West Yorkshire club over the winter.
Veteran KR half-back McGuire was captain of that Leeds vintage and Parcell told The Yorkshire Post: “It’s been a pretty crazy 36 hours or so.
“I turned up yesterday morning at training, had a Captain’s Run with the boys and then straight into it.
“Obviously, though, playing with Danny again and Mitch, those connections came back really quickly. There was a bit we could improve but for one training session it was pretty good.
“Maggsy (McGuire) being there is a very calming influence. He goes with the flow a bit.
“If you don’t go exactly when he wants, he’s cool. He just moves on and gets the next play ready. That helped a lot – and it felt good to get the try at the end...”
Parcell’s dynamic running out of dummy-half was crucial in Leeds’ title success two years ago but he has been under-used by both Dave Furner and then Richard Agar at Headingley this term,
Rovers coach Tony Smith called him “his type of player” and encouraged him to use his sniping quality as much as he desired for the Robins.
Parcell said: “It has been difficult (at Leeds) but Tony has been really good. He wants me to play the footy I really enjoy playing and has been nothing but supportive.
“That gives me a lot of confidence knowing the coach is going to back me no matter what happens. That’s exactly who I want to play under. Obviously it’s a game of footy and if it worked every time it’d be easy.
“I want someone there who is going to back me 100 per cent and that’s what he does.
“I’ve got another year at Leeds but that would be the goal (staying at KR). I don’t think I’ll be going back to Leeds.”
Parcell, who arrived in a swap with former Robins captain Shaun Lunt, did not actually attempt any of his trademark darts until as late as the 27th minute when he duly sliced Hull up the middle.
“It was a fast start and I was waiting to get a quick play-the-ball,” he recalled, with a visit to Wigan Warriors on Friday followed by a return to Headingley the following week.
“But I looked up and saw more than 20 minutes had already gone so I thought ‘no, I need to get in the game here’ and I just took it from there.”
The break came to nothing, one of numerous missed chances for Rovers, but Parcell’s try at the death ensured they secured a valuable two points.
“We had a lot of opportunities in the game to get a bit of a lead but didn’t quite get them,” conceded the ex-Manly rake, who was Super League Dream Team hooker two years ago.
“So to get that and make sure was really satisfying.
“It was a great experience the whole derby occasion – a big crowd, a really good day for footy and to get the win was a really good start for me.”