John Hopoate

  • Playing Career

Playing Career

Vital Statistics

Born
Wednesday, 16th January, 1974
Current Age
50 years and 160 days
Place Of Birth
Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Honours & Awards

Based only on data available in the RLP database. This information should be used as a guide only.

World Cup
1995
City vs Country
2002, 2003
ARL Premiership (NRL)
1996

Known Family Links

Cousin
Willie Manu
Son
William Hopoate
Niece
Shirley Mailangi
Daughter
Kalosipani Hopoate
Son
Jamil Hopoate
Albert Hopoate

Biography

Tongan-born Campbelltown junior originally grew up in the Manly area before moving to Sydney’s Western Suburbs as a teenager. Former club coach Bob Fulton remembered the promising winger from Hopoate’s junior career and recruited him back to Manly where he represented NSW U’19s. Hopoate was an obvious talent on the wing, taking a lot of pressure off his forwards with his fearlessly hard-running style, but his early grade career was marked by an on-field arrogance that detracted from his ability. In 1995 he made his debut for NSW in Melbourne but was dropped for the third match of the series after an unhappy game. Hopoate continued his sledging tactics all the way to the grand final that year but the Sea Eagles came up second best against a more committed C’bury team. Tonga looked set to snare Hopoate and Jim Dymock for the World Cup that year until Australian selectors took no chances at the height of the Super League war and named both players in their squad. A Hopoate error proved the turning point in the 20-16 loss against Great Britain in the opening match of competition but it was not enough to deter an under-strength Australian team from an extraordinary victory in the final (Hopoate scored three tries in the 86-6 win over South Africa in a preliminary Test but did not play in the final). The following year the hard-running flankman savoured grand final victory against St George after scoring the opening try of the match but could not help himself in the 1997 decider, patting Newcastle fullback Robbie O’Davis on the head after crashing over for a try. (A fired-up O’Davis returned serve by scoring two tries and earning ‘man of the match’ honours in Newcastle’s grand final win). After being fined by the Manly club for off-field misbehaviour in early 1999 it was only the intervention of his team-mates that prevented him from being sacked from the club after he turned up drunk to a training session. Hopoate was dropped to First Division for 8 weeks, heavily fined and ordered to seek counselling. Signing with the newly formed W’Tigers in 2000, Hopoate brought a lot of his experience to the young club but was involved in a series of niggling on-field incidents late in the year. (In one match, against Melbourne, he was charged with ‘contrary conduct’ concerning ten separate incidents in the game). In an effort to unsettle opposing players in 2001 Hopoate resorted to inserting his finger in their backsides. The revelation of such tactics left the Tigers with no option but to sack him but, after a period of public humiliation, he returned to Manly’s first division team and actually finished the year in the N’Eagles top grade. At Manly in 2003 he broke his ankle late in the year but proved old habits die hard when he was stood down from the club when his attitude was not up to scratch the following year. However, the club offered Hopoate a lifeline with a one-year contract but he was suspended for a high-tackle on a North Queensland opponent and his rugby league career was finished. Hopoate made a successful start to his professional heavyweight boxing career in 2006.
- ALAN WHITICKER

Playing Career Statistics

All statistics shown in this section are based only on data available in the RLP database, and are not necessarily a complete and/or 100% accurate representation of a player's career. This information should be used as a guide only. If you see a question mark (?), it denotes that the figure is not available.

To view a list of corresponding matches, click on the List button.

Competitions

Competition   Comp Wins App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
World Cup 1 2 3 -   - 12 1 1 0 50.00% List
State of Origin - 1 - -   - - 0 1 0 0.00% List
City vs Country 2 3 - -   - - 2 1 0 66.67% List
NSWRL/ARL/NRL Premiership 1 209 87 -   - 348 120 83 6 57.42% List
NSWRL/ARL/NRL Finals - 10 5 -   - 20 7 3 0 70.00% List
Challenge Cup AU - 1 - -   - - 0 1 0 0.00% List


International

Test Matches - By Team

Team Years   App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1995   2 3 -   - 12 1 1 0 50.00% List

World Cup Matches - By Team

Team Years   App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1995   2 3 -   - 12 1 1 0 50.00% List


Representative

Australia - By Team

Team Years   App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
NSW 1995   1 - -   - - 0 1 0 0.00% List
NSW City 1997, 2002-03   3 - -   - - 2 1 0 66.67% List
Overall1995-2003   4 0 0   0 - 2 2 0 50.00% List


Club Career

NSWRL/ARL/NRL Premiership - By Year

Team Season   App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Manly NSWRL 1993 Winfield Cup   4 - -   - - 3 1 0 75.00% List
Manly NSWRL 1994 Winfield Cup   6 - -   - - 4 2 0 66.67% List
Manly ARL 1995 Winfield Cup   25 21 -   - 84 22 3 0 88.00% List
Manly ARL 1996 Optus Cup   23 11 -   - 44 19 4 0 82.61% List
Manly ARL 1997 Optus Cup   25 15 -   - 60 17 6 2 68.00% List
Manly 1998 NRL Premiership   23 11 -   - 44 12 11 0 52.17% List
Manly 1999 NRL Premiership   17 4 -   - 16 6 10 1 35.29% List
Wests Tigers 2000 NRL Telstra Premiership   23 5 -   - 20 10 11 2 43.48% List
Wests Tigers 2001 NRL Telstra Premiership   5 1 -   - 4 3 2 0 60.00% List
Northern Eagles 2001 NRL Telstra Premiership   7 2 -   - 8 2 4 1 28.57% List
Northern Eagles 2002 NRL Telstra Premiership   24 10 -   - 40 10 14 0 41.67% List
Manly 2003 NRL Telstra Premiership   15 5 -   - 20 6 9 0 40.00% List
Manly 2004 NRL Telstra Premiership   10 1 -   - 4 4 6 0 40.00% List
Manly 2005 NRL Telstra Premiership   2 1 -   - 4 2 0 0 100.00% List

NSWRL/ARL/NRL Premiership - By Team

Team Years   App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Manly 1993-99, 2003-05   150 69 -   - 276 95 52 3 63.33% List
Wests Tigers 2000-01   28 6 -   - 24 13 13 2 46.43% List
Northern Eagles 2001-02   31 12 -   - 48 12 18 1 38.71% List
Overall1993-2005   209 87 0   0 348 120 83 6 57.42% List

Your Say

  • Ryan Tibbie
    13/04/2020

    It was for a raised elbow on Keith Galloway who was playing for the Sharks at the time

  • Anonymous
    05/09/2021

    Stats may not say it on paper, but I heard he had quite the finger in the game

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Contributions: Rugby League Tables, Andrew Ferguson, Shawn Dollin, AJ Lucantonio, Paul Carter, Greg Fiveash

Sources: David Middleton's Rugby League Yearbook (1987-88 to present)