Will we get a fair go from the new referee ????


Hoppo's ref plans


February 10, 2006

HE taunted and tormented them for 12 years as a player but former Manly problem child John Hopoate is now ready to become a rugby league referee.

Hopoate, sacked by the Sea Eagles last year after a series of indiscretions, has contacted the NSWRL to seek his referee's ticket.

Ironically, Hopoate is serving a one year ban imposed by the NSWRL for abusing a touch judge during a junior match last year.

He is also on probation until 2010 for the same offence.

But Hopoate last night told The Daily Telegraph: "If you can't beat them, join them. I just thought it was worth having a go at.

"I'm really keen to do it at junior level and then see what eventuates.

"If I enjoy it I might try to progress up the grades.

"But I could never see myself at NRL level. Could you imagine all the abuse I'd have to cop?

"I don't suppose I can send myself off or put myself on report either."

Hopoate has contacted NSWRL special projects manager Eric Cox to discuss obtaining his ticket.

"I've rung Eric Cox today to get it all organised," he said.

"He said they were only too happy to put me through the course.

"I'm also doing a level 1 coaching course.

"I've had more than my share of dramas over the years but I'm still keen to put something back into the game, particularly at the kid's level."

Hopoate's junior club, Manly Cove, is assisting their former player in his bid to become a referee.

"I think it's a good thing that John will get to see things from a referee's perspective," said Manly Cove president Scott Taylor.

"I think he'll be a very, very good referee.

"He's got a good understanding and knowledge of the game.

"We support anything that furthers John's rugby league resume."

The NRL said last night Hopoate may now appreciate what referees endure each week.

"When John finishes his current suspension, if he is serious about becoming a referee, it might give him a greater appreciation of the difficulties that go with the job," said NRL operations manager and former international referee Graham Annesley.

Hopoate was cut by Manly nearly a year ago after being found guilty by the NRL judiciary of elbowing then Cronulla forward Keith Galloway to the head during a controversial match at Brookvale Oval.

He was suspended for 18 matches.

Hopoate has since taken up amateur boxing but is yet to contest his first fight.

His jump into refereeing will not tarnish his desire to fight.


Journey Man
Geeeeezzz....Hoppa was a Manly legend...but please dude...I'm sick of reading about everything you want to do:-

You'll be a Boxing, Refereeing, Real Estate, minister tycoon....

The Wheel

Premium Member
I got a comment from someone in the Manly Refs assoication this morning - he basically said that after all of his antics in the local park junior comps abusing refs and generally carrying on he is not welcome.

However I guess he still trying to keep his name in the newspaper - his refs career could be about as long as his boxing career. When is he making his pro debut?


Journey Man
Probably after his 1st sermon (if that's how it is spelled), or after he sells his 1st commercial residnece...

Canteen Worker

First Grader
I must say that this article got a great laugh in the staff room at morning team in 'controversy corner'.

The only thing I would say in all fairness is that Hoppa is really interested he should go and give it a go with the juniors.

Sadly, because of his reputation it is hard to imagine him getting a fair go.


Winging it
I don't want to sound unfair but I can't see him handling screaming parents giving him a gobfull or a bunch of smart arse youngsters either.


First Grader
What John will allow.

Head High tackles
10 metres will become 2 metres.
Swearing at the ref.
and................Bum poking
Got a good hard laugh out of his latest interest. People might misinpret instances where he signals for a send off.

Hoppa's getting too old for the game even as a referee. If he thinks he can make top grade he must be having a good dream.

I think he should look to a career as a bouncer at the Corso, theres so much trouble there on weekends. Or maybe as a security guard at Brookie Oval.

The Fonz

Reserve Grader
How can hoppa be too old? He's nowhere the same age as Tim Mander. plus, i don't think he'll be trying for an NRL position. Maybe the manly comp which he easily would be one of the youngest.
In relation to his age I'm saying he should move on from the game. He's not necessarily old, he could manage junior/lower grades. RL administrations however will want to look for younger referees who are considering to choose referees as a career path. I also question his fitness.

The Fonz

Reserve Grader
I wuoldn't question his fitness. From all accounts after his boxing training he is the leanest he's ever been. Don't get me wrong i don't think he'll ref NRL but club level is a definant possibility.

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