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Johnathan Matthews makes his point with hat-trick of tries
Versatile Johnathan Matthews staked his claim for a regular place after scoring a hat-trick of tries on his recall to the Otley side.
The 19-year-old was called in to replace the injured Daniel Temm at wing forward in last Saturday’s 45-26 SSE National League Two North win over Luctonians and took his chance with both hands.
Then, to cap a busy weekend, the former Leeds Carnegie Academy player showed his adaptability by playing at hooker for Yorkshire under-20s 24 hours later.
Otley’s interim director of rugby Ryan Duckett said: “Jonathan had been on the replacements’ bench for the previous few games and we are delighted he seized his chance when it came along.
“Daniel Temm has damaged knee ligaments and will be out for a couple of weeks so Jonathan has a chance to put a marker down.”
Matthews featured in a new-look back row alongside Rob Afoa-Peterson and the in-form Tom O’Donnell, who scored two tries to take his tally to three from the last two matches.
Another try-scorer last Saturday was prop Toby Williams. The former York City Knights rugby league player is a real crowd-pleaser at Cross Green.
He charged 40 yards to score in the final minute. Having previously played at centre and wing forward, he has now adapted well to playing in the front row.
“Toby has got to grips with the demands of the set-piece and is turning in some good performances,” said Duckett.
“He repeatedly makes good ground when he is carrying the ball and his work-rate is very good.”
Otley, who are fifth, face a testing away game at Leicester Lions on Saturday.
Regular fly half Ben Cooper and fit-again winger James Wood were both on the bench last week and will come into consideration for selection.