Lehi Hopoate

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Ron E. Gibbs

First Grader
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.
Understand this point of view, but I look at it a little differently. Forgetting his family name for a minute, he's a local junior who has been with the club since he was 12. He has deep ties to the club and the area, and I'm thrilled we're able to give him his NRL debut.

Yes, if he turns out to be the player many people suggest he might be, other clubs will be interested, but that's some way down the track, and all we can really do as a club is to treat him as well as we can, give him opportunities, and make him feel that Manly is where he belongs.

Adding in the Hopoate name, the odds have to be in our favour by now. We're bound to have one of John's kids stick with us and flourish eventually. :)
 
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.
There are plenty of players who outperformed on NSW cup and underperformed in FG ! It is a massive step up!

Just sayin’
 

Dion Johnson

Bencher
Premium Member
Tipping Member
There are plenty of players who outperformed on NSW cup and underperformed in FG ! It is a massive step up!

Just sayin’
Agree some players have dominated reserves and not made the conversion to a first grade player.

NSW cup is the competition where if players play well they get an opportunity, he has ticked all the boxes so far for a young player, a manly junior gets his chance.
 
Agree some players have dominated reserves and not made the conversion to a first grade player.

NSW cup is the competition where if players play well they get an opportunity, he has ticked all the boxes so far for a young player, a manly junior gets his chance.
… as long as we don’t put expectations on him like Weekes and Albert Hoppa etc
 
Thanks for posting @KNUCKLES
The Hopoate DNA for talented footballers is undeniable and Lehi Hopoate looks to be the best of all the great crops
He is tough , He is Talented , He has the Speed and the Skill to be in our NRL team
Wow! That’s a bold prediction for someone that is yet to play his first NRL game! Sounds a lot like Weekes mk2! You know if he misses a tackle or drops a bomb our game day thread will be giving it to him!…. And Serbs

Just sayin’
PS I wish the kid the very best of luck … but he only needs to speak to his brother Albert on the consequences of a bad game!
 

BOZO

Journey Man
Tipping Member
Wow! That’s a bold prediction for someone that is yet to play his first NRL game! Sounds a lot like Weekes mk2! You know if he misses a tackle or drops a bomb our game day thread will be giving it to him!…. And Serbs

Just sayin’
PS I wish the kid the very best of luck … but he only needs to speak to his brother Albert on the consequences of a bad game!
We can not compare the Hoppa Kid to Weekes or any other player
Lehi is his own demeanor and every talent has to be given an opportunity
 

Smokin Joe

Bencher
I am not saying he will carve it up,he is two years removed from playing Matthews(he will play like a rookie)
However,he is the most talented of the kids.
He is a faster,more athletic,instinctive version of Will,the other 3 kids were just physically dominate as kids in the juniors who got found out as they got to seniors.
I know people wrapped Albert,but he was not exceptionally fast before the knee injuries,or instinctive,athletic etc ..he just was physically a beast against 16 year olds and got found out later on.
In saying that I think Albert is still a solid NRL centre,I would take him back if he wanted out of Raiders at an economical salary.
 
Team P W L PD Pts
12 9 3 83 22
14 10 4 78 22
13 9 4 110 20
13 8 5 66 20
13 7 6 81 18
13 7 6 -55 18
13 7 6 133 16
14 7 7 37 16
15 8 7 -8 16
13 7 6 -34 16
13 6 6 27 15
13 6 6 26 15
13 6 7 -47 14
13 4 9 -126 12
13 4 9 -111 10
12 3 9 -123 10
12 2 10 -137 8
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