Lehi Hopoate

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manly al

First Grader
Going to be hard to warrant Turbo switching to the centres if he can not get his general A level standard game back and with Koula , Garrick and now Talau setting a quite good form level there
.And in the context of Lehi Hoppa making even more progress at the back .
Of course , so much better for Turbo to be back to his best and performing well at full back A S A P but also the conundrum of trying to keep Lehi in the fold longer term and with even more hopeful upside to his game going forward .
Certainly another big test for him against the Panthers and here is hoping for another confident and influential game from him
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
I’d be tempted to put Koula at fullback, Talau in centres and Hoppa on the wing, for no other reason than experience. I think Hoppa plays more like a natural fullback than Koula but the physical and mental demands of such an influential position on the field, says Hoppa should be brought along slowly.

It’s pretty common for players to have strong debuts and fall off a cliff shortly after, as the mental application and wear and tear takes its toll. This year, we need only look at Chevy Stewart and Lachlan Galvin for young guns that started with a bang before being humbled by the pressure cooker.

Proceed with caution, Seibs.
 

Pete W

Bencher
Lehi has a real opportunity lets see what he makes of it.
I think us supporters should take a breath, and not hold expectations too high for the kid. A stellar debut in front of a packed Brookie in a team playing well may not necessarily translate away from home against the defending Premiers. It will be a hostile environment, and they will expose his inexperience.

But this is all great learning, and you can't ask for better development than what these weeks will offer him.
 

Pete W

Bencher
I’d be tempted to put Koula at fullback, Talau in centres and Hoppa on the wing, for no other reason than experience. I think Hoppa plays more like a natural fullback than Koula but the physical and mental demands of such an influential position on the field, says Hoppa should be brought along slowly.

It’s pretty common for players to have strong debuts and fall off a cliff shortly after, as the mental application and wear and tear takes its toll. This year, we need only look at Chevy Stewart and Lachlan Galvin for young guns that started with a bang before being humbled by the pressure cooker.

Proceed with caution, Seibs.
Lol I was literally writing something similar at this same moment
 

manly al

First Grader
Realize that Lehi for instance would just be expected to adapt to any role , even as a winger but a big ask for him and just in one instance of varied wing play, taking some regular hit ups into the teeth of an opposition pack , particularly against a still quite formidable Panthers pack .
Sure that Koulla could still do quite well at the back but guess that it just comes down to that delicate balance .
And then probably Vavea on the wing , even though Lehi really deserves another shot after his Storm performance .
Sure , only one game under his belt so far as a full back at N R L level but against a quality side and showed that he was more then up for the challenge .
Just have to see how it will go but the call has been made and to be fair , with pretty good reason
 

Rocky

Bencher
I’d be tempted to put Koula at fullback, Talau in centres and Hoppa on the wing, for no other reason than experience. I think Hoppa plays more like a natural fullback than Koula but the physical and mental demands of such an influential position on the field, says Hoppa should be brought along slowly.

It’s pretty common for players to have strong debuts and fall off a cliff shortly after, as the mental application and wear and tear takes its toll. This year, we need only look at Chevy Stewart and Lachlan Galvin for young guns that started with a bang before being humbled by the pressure cooker.

Proceed with caution, Seibs.
Your post makes a lot of sense.

but...

I thought Hoppa looked more composed than Koula ever has at the back. Sure, it was a sample size of one, but it was error-free, whereas Koula has a mistake in him.

The other side of this is that Koula is so explosive playing fullback in attack.

I'm genuinely conflicted, but it is a great thing to be talking about (especially given Garrick can also play there). Compare this to a few years back when we literally had no chance if Tom was injured.
 

Leader of the Flock

Reserve Grader
Premium Member
Tipping Member
IMHO, I’d be playing the team as follows until Turbo comes back:

1/ Lehi
2/ Saabie(RW)
3/ Pepsi(LC)
4/ Sanga(RC)
5/ Tommy T(LW)

When Turbo returns: Give the Centres free reign to play both sides of the field in attack, much as our halves now play the other side of the field when they want in attack and defend on either the left or right as now,

1/ Lehi
2/ Saabie(RW)
3/ Pepsi(Outside Centre)
4/ Turbo(Inside Centre), that way he can play in close to the ruck with inside ball, as he does now and sweep to either side,
5/ Sanga(LW)

Just my thoughts on how we can switch it up, from the now standard positional play that everybody seems to play and defend, these days.
 

LeonardCohen

Bencher
Your post makes a lot of sense.

but...

I thought Hoppa looked more composed than Koula ever has at the back. Sure, it was a sample size of one, but it was error-free, whereas Koula has a mistake in him.

The other side of this is that Koula is so explosive playing fullback in attack.

I'm genuinely conflicted, but it is a great thing to be talking about (especially given Garrick can also play there). Compare this to a few years back when we literally had no chance if Tom was injured.
yeah, I definitely think Lehi looks more natural at fullback. I think Koula is a power athlete rather than an endurance athlete and the short bursts at centre suit his game more.

I’m not against the idea that Seibs has gone with this weekend. I just hope (a) our expectations are tempered and (b) Lehi isn’t overexposed in the next month to the point where his game falls apart; I don’t think that’s fair to a rookie. Even the best fullback prospect in the last 5-6 years in Reece Walsh, went through a pretty significant slump early in his career.
 

Scorpio

Armchair Expert
He is contracted here for the next few years, but I think if we don't find a fulltime spot for him in the back line next year, he'll end up at a club that does...
 

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