Matt Parcell scored a hat-trick to continue his stunning start to life at Headingley as Leeds Rhinos moved up to third in Betfred Super League with a 40-0 rout of Warrington Wolves.
The Australian hooker joined the Rhinos from NRL club Manly in the off-season and has been the driving force behind Leeds’ much-improved campaign.
Parcell’s 14th-minute opener and Liam Sutcliffe’s try and two goals put Leeds in charge against the Wolves at the end of a scrappy first half that belied the ideal playing conditions.
The number nine added his second try just after the restart and then completed his hat-trick after Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Joel Moon had crossed to heap further misery on out-of-sorts Warrington.
Rob Burrow went over for a deserved try in the final few minutes as Leeds moved eight points clear of one of their traditional rivals for the Super League crown in style.
Southstand was something else tonight 🔊🔊👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻.. loved it #mot— Brad Singleton (@bradsingo) May 26, 2017
Tony Smith was thankful for the short turnaround to Warrington’s next fixture after his side were outclassed, with Monday’s home clash with high-flying Salford Red Devils gives the Wolves an opportunity to put things right.
“It was not good enough,” said Smith. “If you play poor it’s not a great place to come to, and we were poor with the ball today. Some of the errors we made were just not good enough. It’s a dangerous place to come to and make errors. They’ve got some dangerous players who can capitalise on them.
“I didn’t see that coming. We built up well this week but some of those performances just come out of the blue. We were hoping to build on last week (the Magic Weekend draw with Wigan) and that commitment but these guys have had a couple of substantial defeats this season and once Leeds got on a roll it was hard to stop.
Fantastic win!!! Tell you what, that @JTHughes26 is fast! I think he got me from a standing start too. 😩— Ryan Hall (@Ryan5Hall) May 26, 2017
“In some ways it’s a good thing for us that we play on Monday. It’s horrible when you’ve got a long turnaround after playing poorly. You can dwell on it and that can eat you up. We’ve only got a few days to dust ourselves off and we can make amends.”
Leeds head coach Brian McDermott refused to get carried away by his side's performance against a team he felt were way below par.
“It was clinical and the further the game went the better we got,” said McDermott, who confirmed full-back Ashton Golding had suffered a hamstring strain. “But I’m just mindful we’re playing a team who aren’t where we know they can be. We went through that last year.
“We’ll judge it accordingly. I’m really pleased not to have a try scored against us but at the same time we beat a team that is lacking confidence and not as good as they can be.”