IIRL - White Pointers News - 13/1/98

IIRL - White Pointers News - 13/1/98

Post by GEK » Wed, 14 Jan 1998 04:00:00

Latest news from the White Pointers I.I.R.L.C.

Graeme Kirk

Coach,
White Pointers I.I.R.L.C
http://www.netro.com.au/~gek/sharks.htm

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Back in the winner's circle this week with another impressive home victory,
this
time against Britain's Sadfish Saints. In a sometimes spiteful game, the
Sharks
scored a resounding 33-20 victory, mainly thanks to the astonishing
performance
of winger John Hopoate, who scored two tries himself and was instrumental in
three others. In defence he notched up 31 tackles - an unheard of amount for
a
winger.

The game started ominously when an all-in brawl erupted from the first play
after the kickoff. The only player who remained uninvolved was Hopoate who
struck up a conversation with a ball-boy while the fight continued around
him.
When order was restored Hopoate approached the referee and was heard to
apologise for his teammate's behaviour.

The penalty was then awarded to Sadfish who failed to find touch with the
kick.
Hopoate athletically pulled the ball in before it crossed the line, and
raced back
up field, beating six defenders before passing to Danny Moore who crossed
under
the posts. From the ensuing kickoff, Hopoate once more received the ball and
raced the length of the field to score the first of his two tries. The
Sharks led
12-0 after just 6 minutes.

Hopoate's performance seemed to shock his teammates who suddenly were
incapable of holding on to the ball. Some poor discipline saw the Saints
come
back through a converted try to Dennis Betts and a penalty goal to David
Peachey - 12-8 after 20 minutes.

The poor performance of the rest of the team seemed to spur Hopoate on, who
embarked on a tackling spree, driving the Saints back and pinning them on
their
own tryline. He then raced back to re-gather a Saints' clearing kick,
running it
back almost the length of the field before being pulled down short of the
line. From
the ensuing play the ball, Martin Moana barged through the defense to
score -
18-8 to the Sharks at half time.

The second-half began dramatically when Sadfish second-rower Dennis Betts
flattened John Hopoate in backplay. Hopoate was stretchered off and the game
took on a completely different complexion. The Saints stormed back against
the
stunned Sharks who spent most of the second term camped in their own half.
Tries
to Innes and Howard saw the Saints take a 20-18 lead.

Amazingly, with 15 minutes to play Hopoate returned to the field. Within
seconds he
had the ball in his hands and was racing past defenders to score his second
try. He
then collapsed and was once again stretchered off.

Hopoate's heroics inspired the team. To the cries of "do it for Hoppa", the
Sharks
stormed home. A penalty goal followed by a drop goal to Paul Green put the
result
beyond doubt, with a late try to Sedaris putting the icing on a great
victory.

Hopoate's condition is unknown at this stage, and it is unsure if he will
take the
field next week.

In other news..

Questions are being asked about the bizarre conditioning techniques which
coach
Graeme Kirk used on John Hopoate this week. IIRL officials were unwilling to
comment but are known to be far from pleased. Kirk's election as AIRL vice-
president this week may be complicating matters - word is that the IIRL may
not be
keen to censure a new board member so soon after taking up the position.

White Pointers officials have also denied reports that the team is to join
Concord
Enterprises. "Not at this stage", a top-ranking official said today. "We
have a
good working relationship with the people at CE but at the moment we plan to
stand alone. We will probably be re-evaluating our position later in the
season,
however."