Hoppa is on the back page of Wednesdays telegraph



THIS is the kid who stood up to rugby league bully John Hopoate.
He is Jamal Thompson, a 14-year-old ball boy for the New Zealand Warriors, who was abused by Hopoate during last Sunday's controversial match at Ericsson Stadium.

The Daily Telegraph understands Hopoate called Jamal a "little s..t".

After an NRL investigation,Hopoate telephoned and apologised to Jamal and his mother Marissa yesterday afternoon
Hopoate and touch judge Pat Reynolds yelled at young Jamal to throw the ball into play for a tap re-start from a penalty just before halftime.

But Jamal knew if he did he would break the rules. Instead, he correctly placed the ball on the sideline.

The incident has embarrassed the NRL given a 14-year-old knew the rules yet a touch judge and former Test player did not.

Tracked down in Auckland by The Daily Telegraph, Jamal said he was intimidated by Hopoate. "But I wasn't going to give in to him," Jamal said.

The dialogue went like this:

Pat Reynolds: "Throw the ball in."

Jamal Thompson: "The ball is on the ground."

John Hopoate: "Throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball in you little s..t."

Jamal was upset with Hopoate and knew the touch judge was wrong.

"I put the ball on the sideline which is where I'm supposed to put it. That's what the NRL tells me to do," he said.

"He [Hopoate] said, 'Give me the ball, give me the ball' and then he said, 'Give me the ball you little s . . t.' But I stood my ground.

"I was pretty scared and disgusted. But I hear that off the field he can be a nice bloke."

Although his decision was correct, Jamal said he was admonished by touch judge Reynolds.

"He told me I wouldn't be allowed back in the second half," Jamal said. But Jamal did come back for the second half, although not before the situation was discussed by officials.

Asked would he now quit as Warriors ballboy, Jamal said: "I'll stick with it."

The incident was included in a match report from ground manager Ken Loza.

In his report, Loza said: "It is alleged that Hopoate swore at the ballboy."

In the NRL operations manual, rule 1:2,3 states: "Ball persons must place and leave the ball on the touchline at the point where the ball crosses the touchline next to the touch judge. Ball persons MUST NOT under any circumstances throw the ball into the field of play or to a player close to the touchline."

The Warriors did not lodge a formal complaint against Hopoate.

But NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley said Jamal accepted Hopoate's apology.

"Manly has accepted the fact that Hopoate behaved inappropriately in what was an unnecessarily confused situation," Annesley said. "John has rung the boy to apologise for the incident and accepted that he was not aware of the proper interpretation of the rule."

Manly executive director Paul Cummings apologised to Jamal on behalf of the club.

Reynolds was not dropped and will officiate the sideline for the match between Souths and Parramatta this weekend.

Referee Sean Hampstead also blundered in the match for failing to send Warriors hooker Nathan Fien to the blood bin.

The player at the centre of the blood-bin fiasco, Sea Eagles hooker Shayne Dunley, has been named on the bench for Sunday's match against Cronulla at Brookvale Oval.

Manly claim every move that Hopoate makes is being monitored and that he is coming in for special attention each week


Winging it
The Terror does an ugly beat up which is no surprise. If you look at the incident on face value both Hoppa and the touchline official thought the ball was supposed to be passed to the player. Not so says the fine print. Let us look at all the other games and see if the rule is followed.

What annoyed me more than the Terror having a go, was Adam Lucius in today's Manly Daily. In a headline that runs across the whole back page we wake up to:
Hoppa in the poo
What a load of crap says I. Don't worry about the fact that he played an exemplary game. Adam, I am sorry Hoppa swore at the little 'un but don't you think he hears a lot worse just standing on the side line for 80 minutes. If you want a job with the Terror just apply for it - don't build your credentials up as a muck raker on the peninsula!


First Grader
It is a beat up. Anything he does will be scrutinised.

I bet the ball boys pass the ball to the players in all the other games. The kid was basically being a smart arse.
<span class='smallblacktext'>[ Edited Wed Mar 16 2005, 08:02AM ]</span>


Journey Man
So the sideline official tells the kid to throw the ball in and the kid tells him to get knotted.

Hoppa explodes (as 67% of the population would in a similar situation) and who cops the rap?


Journey Man
Notice how the ball boy is so completely inoocent and made out an angel.

this is just a gee up cause its hoppa.

Id like to know if he threw the ball to any kiwi players throughout the game. - if so then its not black and white at all

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