Signed, sealed, delivered – I’m yours
What a gift Matt Parcell is proving to be for Leeds Rhinos, as the Australian hooker just gets better and better with every game under his belt. The 24-year-old joined from Manly Sea Eagles in the off-season and seems to be one of the signings of the year, as he provides some well needed stability behind the play-the-ball. With James Segeyaro leaving the club while still under contract they have brought in the perfect replacement, as Parcell had a brilliant evening for the Rhinos. He came up with a try and two assists, including a clever flick pass for Kallum Watkins’ second of the contest.
Are Leeds back?
It’s only early on in the 2017 campaign, but is it safe to say that Leeds Rhinos have completed the transition from a bottom four club to a side competing for silverware again? The answer to that question was no two weeks ago when they were put to the sword by Castleford Tigers, however they have responded in perfect fashion since with two comfortable victories. They put together some impressive attacking play despite Joel Moon spending the majority of the game in the halves. It’s now eight straight home wins stretching back to July last year when Widnes Vikings claimed a famous 23-22 win at Headingley, but that will be tested in two weeks when champions Wigan Warriors visit.
Wakey’s kicking woes
The visitors were their own worst enemy at times, as Sam Williams and Jacob Miller’s inconsistent kicking game let the hosts off the hook when they were under the pump. Far too many times Chris Chester cut a disappointed figure as he watched the ball trickle out of play due to poor execution with the boot. The opening try of the game came off the back of Williams’ kick which had run dead, as Watkins timed his run onto a Danny McGuire kick to get the scoring underway. When the boot wasn’t letting them down it was poor passing, as Scott Grix fired a pass at Bill Tupou even though the centre was only a few metres away from him. A softer pass ends in a Trinity try, but instead Leeds crossed up the other end of the field through Adam Cuthbertson.
Free play perfection
We bemoan rule changes at the beginning of each season, however one which seems to have made the game a more exciting spectacle is the free play ruling. Wakefield executed it to perfection in the first period, as they sent a cross-field kick towards Tom Johnstone and he found a gap to race away and score a try from nothing. The 2016 young player of the year is a promising wide man and thrives from off-the-cuff attacking play and was in full flight for his side’s opening score. Despite it being an eye-catching effort it unfortunately didn’t set the tone for Trinity’s evening, although he did cross for a second after taking Miller’s cross-field bomb to score a consolation with the last play of the game.
Leeds Rhinos 38 (20)
Ashton Golding, Tom Briscoe, Kallum Watkins, Jimmy Keinhorst, Ryan Hall, Danny McGuire, Joel Moon, Adam Cuthbertson, Matt Parcell, Jordan Baldwinson, Brett Ferres, Carl Ablett, Brett Delaney Subs: Josh Walters, Rob Burrow, Anthony Mullally, Mitch Garbutt
Tries: Watkins (17, 40), Mullally (29), Hall (44), Cuthbertson (57), Parcell (61) Goals: Golding 7/7
Wakefield Trinity 14 (4)
Scott Grix, Tom Johnstone, Bill Tupou, Joe Arundel, Ben Jones-Bishop, Jacob Miller, Sam Williams, Mitch Allgood, Kyle Wood, Craig Huby, Dean Hadley, Matty Ashurst, Tinirau Arona Subs: Danny Kirmond, Mikey Sio, David Fifita, Anthony Walker
Tries: Johnstone (21, 80), Fifita (50) Goals: Williams 1/3
Sin bin: Kirmond – late tackle (59)