JAMES FORD hailed Perry Whiteley's eye-catching performance in York City Knights' thrashing of Rochdale Hornets on Sunday - after the 26-year-old fully justified his recall to the line-up.

Whiteley replaced Hull KR loanee Will Oakes on the left wing and went on to score a superb hat-trick in the 60-0 Bootham Crescent rout - with all three tries created by Junior Vaivai.

In return he superbly set his centre up for a long-range effort when leaping highest to catch a kick on his own goal-line before making a few metres up the touchline and slipping the ball inside to the Knights' other Hull KR loanee.

Whiteley - who had been dropped after his previous outing, a mistake-ridden display in the win over Widnes Vikings at the end of May - also came up with a couple of try-saving plays when knocking the ball dead following dangerous kicks in goal.

"I thought Perry was really good," said head coach Ford of the former Keighley Cougars threequarters' performance.

"Saving a try is as important as scoring one and he got back and covered that kick well, and the catch he took over his head under a little bit of pressure in a bit of drizzle - the ball can be greasy - was right up there, a really good piece of skill. He caught the spiral (kick) as well.

"It was a great piece of wing play to catch that kick and then he's finished his chances really well too.

"Junior is going to create opportunities and as a winger you've got to put yourself in the right position and then make sure you finish them."

Dewsbury-born Whiteley joined York from Keighley on transfer deadline day last season but was used primarily as back-up to the then first-choice centres Brad Hey and St Helens-bound Joe Batchelor, scoring three tries in his two appearances in the team's successful Betfred League One title-winning run-in.

He was then switched to the wing by Ford and has played in 13 of the Knights' 20 fixtures so far this term, scoring six tries in all.