Lehi Hopoate

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maxta

First Grader
Premium Member
Yeah I noticed that too. Further complicating the matter was Talau's lack of pace. We had 3 on 2 a number of times and a combination of Koula running his outside men out of space and Talau's lack of acceleration, allowed Staggs to eventually get across in cover and break the play down.
100% and a way better explanation than my attempt :wait: this may be why I played decent levels, but struggled to coach U12's - my vision and communication seem wayward at times :talking:
I will add though, I feel there are rewards having koula, rather than just used in those shift plays, lurking around the ruck for 2nd phase and offloads, as I feel he could be dynamic through the middle of the ruck and especially back end of halves....this would add more than what we get from him just used in spreading the ball wide and hope he runs around someone....that's why as you get past U16's those fast kids that used to run around the team stops working, so important to learn to play "through" the opposition.
 
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LeonardCohen

Bencher
100% and a way better explanation than my attempt :wait: this may be why I played decent levels, but struggled to coach U12's - my vision and communication seem wayward at times :talking:
I will add though, I feel there are rewards having koula, rather than just used in those shift plays, lurking around the ruck for 2nd phase and offloads, as I feel he could be dynamic through the middle of the ruck and especially back end of halves....this would add more than what we get from him just used in spreading the ball wide and hope he runs around someone....that's why as you get past U16's those fast kids that used to run around the team stops working, so important to learn to play "through" the opposition.
Yeah agree. In saying that, I feel his support play is not a strength at this point, i.e. something for Seibs (and probably Snake) to develop in him. Too often he is not in the frame through the middle third. I am aware that it's (a) something that takes time to develop and (b) who of our forwards are really offering anything in the way off second-phase play of late? :)
 

maxta

First Grader
Premium Member
Yeah agree. In saying that, I feel his support play is not a strength at this point, i.e. something for Seibs (and probably Snake) to develop in him. Too often he is not in the frame through the middle third. I am aware that it's (a) something that takes time to develop and (b) who of our forwards are really offering anything in the way off second-phase play of late? :)
Your correct mate - Agree with your post 100%.....I felt maybe Lodge or Sipley are reasonable at offloads, Jake hmmmm a maybe, maybe Oka but that's more edge or late inside ball could do damage, but very true young Koula does not have the sniff of a Snake/Slater type yet and would love to see it develope, as he would blow up that middle as good as anyone with his explosiveness.....
 

Dion Johnson

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
‘Family spends $1000 a week on groceries’: Meet the latest Hopoate to crack the NRL

John Hopoate never wanted Lehi, the eighth of his 11 children, to play rugby league.

His basketball coach at St Augustine’s College in Brookvale, former NBL star Mark Dalton, believed he had a serious future in that sport

We tried to push him to basketball, so he could play different sports, but he wanted to follow rugby league,” John Hopoate said.

Lehi did just that, and will now become the latest member of the famous footballing family to play in the NRL. Manly has called up the 19-year-old for Friday’s clash against Melbourne after fullback Tolu Koula was a late scratching.

The elevation will result in Lehi becoming the fifth sibling to play in the NRL or NRLW, following in the footsteps of Will, Jamil, Albert and Kalosipani.

“[I’m] very proud of him and all of my kids’ accomplishments,” his father said.

It’s [more satisfying] than whatever I did when I was playing, when you see your kids accomplish their dreams, it certainly makes you happy as a father.

“He hasn’t seen the stuff that I did as a player, but it comes nowhere near to when your kids make it.”

Lehi has made the most of his pedigree. He was previously a member of Manly’s Harold Matthews premiership-winning team and then went on to captain the side. The speedy fullback is one of eight children still living in Dee Why with his parents.

“Our shopping bill is between $800 and $1000 every week,” John said. “It’s a lot for us to pay the bills.”

One of Levi’s first coaches was father John, who believes his family may have set a record for their contribution to rugby league.

“I don’t know, but I think so,” he said.

“If it’s a record in rugby league, it’s not something I look at. It’s about my kids trying to make it.

I don’t talk to them too much about the game. They know not to waste my time if I come to watch, I’ve got so many kids to watch.

“I tell them to get involved. You don’t have to score four or five tries in a game, as long as you are involved. Don’t waste my time.

Sea Eagles coach Anthony Seibold confirmed Lehi would make his first-grade debut against Melbourne, potentially pitting him against the exciting Storm fullback Sualauvi Faalogo.

“We’ll have a look at what position he plays today,” Seibold said. “He’s played multiple positions in second grade, Reuben Garrick can play multiple positions, so we’ll look at that today and make a decision after training

He’s a pretty special young kid. He did the pre-season with us, he did such a good job that we took him over to Vegas with us for the experience … Lehi is a young guy who will bring plenty of energy.”

John said Lehi had benefited from learning fullback play from injured star Tom Trbojevic and former No.1 Brett Stewart, now a member of the club’s staff.

“[Lehi] always had potential, but he used to do my head in on the field,” said John, who believes son Jamil – currently in jail for drug offences – is the most talented footballer in the family.

“He was so laid back. He’s still doing it, but it seems to work.

He’s a good kid, always been a good defender and he’s got good hands. Hopefully he shows it tomorrow.”
 

lsz

First Grader
Staff member
Re turbo to the centres it is not like has never gotten injured playing there is it....

As for Hopa jnr jnr jnr jnr jnr jnr jnr jnr (or Hoppa8) normally I would think they would throw Ruben back there but I am not sure it is any easier for the kid to debut at centre.
 

Ron E. Gibbs

First Grader
As for Hopa jnr jnr jnr jnr jnr jnr jnr jnr (or Hoppa8) normally I would think they would throw Ruben back there but I am not sure it is any easier for the kid to debut at centre.
He's been killing it as a fullback, so that's where they should play him. Of course, that probably means our "brains trust" will play him somewhere else.

But really, these days I think it's easier to protect (not so much hide as shelter) younger, smaller players at the fullback position. Plenty of good fullbacks are not giants. The kid he'll be up against tomorrow night (Sua Fa'alogo) is listed as 175cm and 82 kilos.
 

Dion Johnson

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
He's been killing it as a fullback, so that's where they should play him. Of course, that probably means our "brains trust" will play him somewhere else.

But really, these days I think it's easier to protect (not so much hide as shelter) younger, smaller players at the fullback position. Plenty of good fullbacks are not giants. The kid he'll be up against tomorrow night (Sua Fa'alogo) is listed as 175cm and 82 kilos.
Young Hoppa has played his best footy in NSW cup at the back, the players playing in NSW cup are of the same size as first grade players.

If his body is good enough for NSW cup where he has been the standout player then he is good enough to wear the one jumper in first grade.
 

The Who

Journey Man
There's been several examples this season of 'unknowns' being thrown into the fullback role when an NRL superstar is injured, with pleasing outcomes. Such as:
Fuller for Hammer​
Talagi for Gutho​
Armstrong for Ponga​
Faalogo for Pappy​
So, we could 'unearth' another when Hoppa Jnr Jnr takes over from Koala'n'Turbo
 

lsz

First Grader
Staff member
He's been killing it as a fullback, so that's where they should play him. Of course, that probably means our "brains trust" will play him somewhere else.

But really, these days I think it's easier to protect (not so much hide as shelter) younger, smaller players at the fullback position. Plenty of good fullbacks are not giants. The kid he'll be up against tomorrow night (Sua Fa'alogo) is listed as 175cm and 82 kilos.
So he will be at centre although at least it is Remis Smith or Nick Meany
 

47MVEagle

Bencher
I guess I’m once bitten twice shy about any Hopoate playing first grade for us based on past events.

Will - would have loved to have kept him but he went on his Mormon sabbatical & IMO never reached the heights he showed the potential of reaching.

Jamil - nothing but trouble & never really got a real first grade career going.

Albert - was touted as the next best thing, Hoppa senior went public in bagging the club over not debuting him in first grade then us lending him to NZ during COVID & demanded $500k contract for & spat the dummy when the club didn’t comply & he ended up on a train & trial contract at Canberra where he’s made sporadic first grade appearances.

Now Lehi is another “next best thing” who we should apparently debut in his preferred position of fullback because se he’s carving it up in NSW Cup (where Albert, Schuster & many others no longer playing NRL also carved it up).

I don’t have the confidence that Manly have the set up that has allowed other clubs to successfully debut rookies at fullback this season.

I would love for it to be a success but I am hesitant about doing it.
 

47MVEagle

Bencher
There's been several examples this season of 'unknowns' being thrown into the fullback role when an NRL superstar is injured, with pleasing outcomes. Such as:
Fuller for Hammer​
Talagi for Gutho​
Armstrong for Ponga​
Faalogo for Pappy​
So, we could 'unearth' another when Hoppa Jnr Jnr takes over from Koala'n'Turbo
Stewart for Rapana is another
 

Fibro Eagle

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
I guess I’m once bitten twice shy about any Hopoate playing first grade for us based on past events.

Will - would have loved to have kept him but he went on his Mormon sabbatical & IMO never reached the heights he showed the potential of reaching.

Jamil - nothing but trouble & never really got a real first grade career going.

Albert - was touted as the next best thing, Hoppa senior went public in bagging the club over not debuting him in first grade then us lending him to NZ during COVID & demanded $500k contract for & spat the dummy when the club didn’t comply & he ended up on a train & trial contract at Canberra where he’s made sporadic first grade appearances.

Now Lehi is another “next best thing” who we should apparently debut in his preferred position of fullback because se he’s carving it up in NSW Cup (where Albert, Schuster & many others no longer playing NRL also carved it up).

I don’t have the confidence that Manly have the set up that has allowed other clubs to successfully debut rookies at fullback this season.

I would love for it to be a success but I am hesitant about doing it.
Hopefully all in family have now decided to stop stuffing around and let this kid play his career at Manly
Very optimistic though
 
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17 12 5 118 30
17 11 6 125 28
18 11 7 209 26
18 10 7 97 25
17 9 8 63 24
17 9 8 46 24
18 10 8 3 24
17 9 8 -56 24
17 8 9 -91 22
18 8 10 25 20
17 7 10 -90 20
18 8 10 -97 20
18 7 10 -34 19
17 6 11 -89 18
17 4 13 -153 14
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