HULL, UK – The Zimbabwe-born prop forward is one of only a few African’s playing in Super League, alongside Huddersfield’s Kruise Leeming from Swaziland, but Matongo is leading the way for his continent after earning a starting spot in Lee Radford’s Hull FC squad for Round One.
Fellow prop forwards Josh Bowden and Chris Green are nearing their returns from injury, but the 22-year-old has no intention of giving up his starting spot so easily.
“Josh Bowden and Chris Green are both great middles, but I’m going to be trying to play at my best to make sure they find it hard to get back into the team when they’re fit again,” Matongo told Hull FC Live in his pre-match press conference.”
“It’s been a long three years, but I know that I’ve made my success from working hard and it’s really good that all of that seems to have paid off.
“To start the first game of the season was a massive occasion for me, and now I want to start as many games as I possibly can this year.
“Radders and Lasty have put their faith in me. To keep my spot in the team I’ve got to keep playing well and prove that I’m capable of doing a good job.”
With Bowden and Green still on the sidelines, Matongo is once again in line to impress Radford and assistant coach Andy Last against Castleford Tigers tomorrow evening.
The Black & Whites will be looking to pick up their first win of the season as they feature at the KCOM Stadium for the first time since September.
Matongo says Hull FC have been working hard in training this week to identify the Tigers’ weaknesses.
“The main job for us middles is to make sure we are keeping their play-the-balls as slow as possible early in the sets because they’ve got some big guys who can do some damage,” he explained.
“We want to be able to keep them in their own half and give them as little good-ball as possible.
“Once we get them where we want them, we’ve got to be disciplined like we were against Rovers last week, making sure we keep turning them over at the right end of the field.”