Shark say I forgive you Hoppa?

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First Grader
Shark in forgiving mood
By Daniel Pace
March 21, 2005

SHARKS forward Keith Galloway is willing to forgive but he won't be able to forget John Hopoate's sickening blow that left him heavily concussed.

Hopoate phoned Galloway this morning to apologise for the high shot during Manly's 46-20 victory in a spiteful NRL clash at Brookvale Oval yesterday.

Galloway, 19, spent the night in hospital and felt groggy today but was well enough to front a media conference at Sharks Leagues Club to answer questions about the incident, which has been referred directly to the NRL judiciary.

Galloway would not reveal details of the conversation between himself and Hopoate.

"I actually know his younger brother (Albert) so he rang up first and then John rang up and apologised," the Sharks prop said.

"I said `that's alright' and I accepted his apology.

"He said sorry to me so that's alright for me, but I'm not the one making a decision at the judiciary.

"I forgive him. He said sorry but it's probably something I'll remember and will be in the back of my head for quite a while."

Hopoate faces a lengthy suspension that may end a turbulent career after his forearm connected with Galloway's head in a leaping tackle yesterday.

The victim himself was reluctant to comment on the severity of the offence.

"Everyone's probably seen it," Galloway said. "Most people can make their own decision on it."

Sharks coach Stuart Raper defended the actions of Manly pair Anthony Watmough and Terry Hill, who patted Hopoate on the back and clapped following the 30th-minute hit that led to the former Test centre being sent off.

"You can't really hold it against those guys," Raper said.

"They've seen Hoppa shoot out of the line, do a big shot and they obviously didn't think too much of it.

"It would be very disturbing to think they were clapping and patting Hoppa on the back because Keith was out cold. I don't think they were doing that at all.

"They were happy he had done a big shot and didn't realise the repercussions of the hit."

A decision on when Galloway can return to the field will be made following an MRI scan on Wednesday and a brain scan the following day.

The Junior Kangaroo will certainly miss the Sharks' trip to Parramatta on Saturday night.

"I didn't see it coming. I just remember waking up on a stretcher," said Galloway, who needed seven stitches to his ear.

"I woke up feeling a little bit better today.

"It's not really painful headaches, I just feel a little bit dizzy but nothing too serious.

"I haven't had much sleep, I think that's got something to do with it.

"I kept getting woken up by the nurses all night and it was a really small bed."

Galloway said the thundering hit would not dent his confidence on the paddock.

"I've been playing football since I was seven and that's the first time something like that has happened," he said.

Although not condoning Hopoate's action, Raper said it was a "one-off instance".

"It can be disturbing when you see one of your players down on the ground like Keith was in a spasm and KOd," said Raper.

"It's not great to see. With Keith, he's a smart man and he's got on with it now.

"As a club we'll do the same thing. It's out of hands."

Very professionally handled by the sharks club - shame about the fans, some calling for his death.

Glad to hear he is ok.

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