Not Happy John - Matabele on the latest brain explosion

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Journey Man
As I said in my match report - he has lived by the sword and now he will surely die by the sword. The wolves have been let loose and there will be no containing them this time. He's the main story in every media format this morning and to a man they're calling for his head.

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There are some (though dwindling in number) who will be shocked and dissapointed by the media frezy that will break out over the next 72 hours. There is no doubt that Hopoate does receive special (detrimental) treatment from the media. But you really have to admit that he has bought a lot of it on himself.

The media didn't ask him to be the fiercest of sledgers on the field - an aggravating, obnoxious bully lurking out on the wing and often too scared to mix it with the forwards. The media didn't make him pat the head of opposing players when they made a mistake.

The media did not insert his fingers into the colons of opposing players. The media did not instigate the many fights he embroiled himself in on the field (and often off it). The media needle him into threatening touch judges, swearing at ball boys and launching himself with elbow cocked at the throat of an opposition player.

There would be no media firestorm if Hopoate did not continually provide new kindling that was dry, combustible and ready to ignite. Well this time not even his most fiercest of advocates (Zorba and Co.) will be able to do enough back burning to save his skin.

As soon as I saw the first replay I turned to my five year old Manly tragic son and said - "Joseph, that is the final act of John Hopoate's career". I'm glad that his heroes are the Menzies and Kites of the team, and not this gurgling volcano of a man prone to erupt at the slightest of provocation.

A good friend of mine is Tongan and we watched a lot of Friday Night Football together in that wonderful year of 1995 when Manly dominated the landscape. He expressed concern to me right back then that Hopoate would bring disgrace upon the Tongan people.

This is no ordinary Tongan - this man is a grandson of the King. I know he will be somewhere in Sydney today shaking his head and grieving that his prediction has come true - not once, but many times.

However, it is not only the nation of Tonga that is disgraced by this man. He jas disgrcaed himslef, his family, the game of Rugby League and most importantly, the Manly Club.

So often have we extended this man a lifeline and provided him the opportunity to make ammends to his destroyed reputation. And so often has he flung our grace back at us in the form of further embarrasment and negative headlines.

Surely the time has come for decisive action. Regardless of the decision of the judiciary, at some point this week this man must be called into an office and told that his "services" are no longer required. This is the only dignity that the club could possibly salvage from this whole, sad and sorry train wreck.

Canteen Worker

First Grader
often too scared to mix it with the forwards.
This is the sentence I don't agree with.

His courage and commitment have never been in question, nor his ability to mix it with whoever was in front of him. He has never been too scare to mix it with forwards.

His problem is that he does not use his brains and does stupid things. He is competitive beyond belief which explains some of his flaws.

He brought me many great memories in 94 - 97 but he time may be at an end.

Hard to disagree with the rest of what you say Mata!


Journey Man
He'll mix it with the forwards in game time. But did you ever see him "niggle" a forward of around the same size?

I contend he reserved his niggling tactics for wingers that were generall much smaller in stature.

Ron E. Gibbs

First Grader
It's not difficult to paint Hoppa as a villain. And yes, he is often his own worst enemy. But I don't think there's anything to gain by jumping on the "Get Hoppa Out of Rugby League" bandwagon. In the coming week we'll hear a lot about "intent", specifically the intent of Hoppa's tackle. All I know for sure is that he intended to put on a big hit, which is partly what he's paid to do, and that something went horribly wrong.
League fans are a hypocritical lot at the best of times. We yell and scream and bray for blood ("Smash the wanker! Kill him!"), but as soon as something goes wrong - and something will always go wrong as long as players, urged on by coaches and fans, push the boundaries as they do - we wash our hands of the matter and say the player has to go.
Rugby league is, as they say, a game of inches. What if Hoppa's forearm hadn't slipped up (try running at full pelt, jumping and leading with your shoulder and see if you can keep your arms down) and he'd only connected with his shoulder? What if Galloway had been able to get to his feet and play on? Instead of calling for Hoppa's head we'd all be celebrating the hit of the season so far. It'd feature in video wrap-ups of rugby league's greatest hits and misses (and maybe even NRL commercials) for years to come.
Or what if the contact had been clean and Galloway was still badly hurt as he fell and whacked his head on the turf? We'd all hope he was OK but we'd still be celebrating the hit.
I'm not exactly sure what I'm trying to say here. Hoppa's tackle looks bad - slow motion, frame by frame, any way you want to replay it - and this will probably mean the end of his career. But everyone at the game jumped out of their seats and hollered and cheered when they first saw that collision, and I know I screamed as loud as any of them.


First Grader
Well I can see were your coming from.

But he has good points as well I don't think he did it intentionally. Just bad technique.

I dont care what happens with him in regards to his footy career.


Journey Man
My reaction when it happened was "I hope to goodness that isn't high" - and I thought it was Minogue at first too.

You make a good point about treading the fine line. But I do wonder why there was any neccesity to put on a high risk play like that when were were leading 24-0 and in cruise mode.


First Grader
Rap music for Hoppa from Darren on ME!
He's on fire.

hoppa, hoppa, here he comes,
put Galloway right on his bum

sharky, sharky, you gunna cop that
on the sideline in a flash

Chip and Chase

True Supporter
Staff member
Premium Member
Tipping Member
[quote author='smallblacktext'>[ Edited Mon Mar 21 2005, 12:10PM ]</span>

Canteen Worker

First Grader
Great post Ron E. I am just hoping (not having seen the game) that this incident was not retribution for something that happened earlier in the game. Hoppa came out of the line from three places wide and targeted this guy - jumping up to get to the head. I wasn't at the ground to see the tackle but Hoppa's reaction to the ref was incredulous (I am not sure he is that good an actor!)

A sad day for the club in many ways!


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
Galloway was defending n hoppas side a few sets earlier. maybe it was payback, maybe it was to rattle and humilate the sharks and it went wrong. had it come off, it would have been the en dof the sharks. Manly would have steam rolled them by even more


Journey Man
what is done is done.

It will mean the end of hoppa - so be it.

Time for us to move on and start looking at getting creary into shape until hicks gets back


Journey Man
We were on track for a 60-0 drubbing before Hoppa exploded. I seriously believe that. The Sharks were flat and we were up for it.


Kim Jong Dan
Staff member
Tipping Member
i agree we would have handed out an absolute hiding


Winging it
I agree with the comments posted by CW and Ron E. Hoppa has been one of my favorite players for many reasons including his passion in a Manly team that was sorely lacking it last year.

I feel sorry for all the off season work he put in and the ramifications on his family. He just has a circuit that fails to work.

I watched his tackle and it wasn't clear on the tv. He ran from his wing in a straight line of about 30 metres towards the play the ball area and it was so noticeable that I can't believe the sharkies didn't see him coming. The fact that he launched himself at the head is just almost unexplainable.

My view is that all the words we write will amount to not much as I am sure that is the last I will ever see of Hoppa playing in the NRL. Farewell and good wishes, but sadly the game is better without you.


Yeah i agree Mata. It wasnt needed in the game. If it was 12-6 Cronullas way and we needed the ball. It may have been a good option.

But at 24-0. We were cruising.. all we needed to do was complete our tackles and attack them again. So i guess Hoppa did have a brain explosion. I have mixed feelings on this as I still remember the Hoppa of old and i think everyone has forgotten it (non manly).

My initial reaction: 'Hoppas running!! OHHHH WHAT A HIT SMASH THE C&*NTS"

then the replay: Nahhh thats fine. Shoulder hit him

then the 2nd replay: Oh... maybe caught him a bit high

then the next replay: Oh ****.. hes gooooone.


First Grader
hard to disagree with what Mata said. apart from the comment of not wanting to mix it with the forwards. The bloke is that thick he would take on a brick wall with his fists, I dont think any forwards would worry him.

I have always loved watching Hoppa play (apart from the brain explosions). He can really lift the team but there is also the big chance he will cost the team. In the past when there has been talk of resigning Hoppa or sacking him there was always a part of me that wanted him to stay and a part that wanted him to go. The part of me wanting him to stay is no longer, with the media storm going on the club has no choice but to cut ties with him. It is in the best interests for the future of our club.

Then again maybe the sponsors like having there name all over the front and back page of the papers, sure getting their moneys worth in terms of coverage :D


First Grader
Staff member
Hello (long time reader first time poster)

I agre with all that has been said. Whilst it is not pssible to prove intent it was a reckless tackle. I find it very diffcult to believe that people are defending him. I actually work with a couple of people who count Galloway as a friend. He spent last night in hospital and is still in a bad way (my friend spoke to him - apparently he just kkept repeating the same things over and over)
As for the defenders of hoppa - there is a difference between passion (such as tooves in years gone by) and reckless play. We should have been celebrating a good win - instead i am embarrassed by hoppa's actions

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