‘I’m gonna bash you’: Hopoate threatens player after hit
FORMER NRL bad boy John Hopoate has made violent threats towards players during a foul-mouthed tirade after blindsiding an opponent with two punches and being sent off in a local Sydney rugby league match.
Explosive footage obtained by foxsports.com.au shows the Hopoate lost control after slapping a player while playing for Narraweena Hawks against the Forestville Ferrets in Sydney's north on Saturday.
He can be seen throwing two jabs from the side as his teammate tussled with the Ferrets' lock forward, before repeatedly threatening to "bash you c---s" and being sent off by the referee.
A Forestville assistant coach alleged that Hopoate approached the Ferrets' bench after the send-off and said, "I'm gonna take you behind the sheds and f---ing flog you".
Hopoate denies that allegation.
It is understood four others, including a ground manager, have made reports also alleging harassment from the sidelines.
One player sent a complaint directly to NSWRL after the match.
Manly Warringah District Junior Rugby League confirmed it was in the process of collating the material and readying it for submission to the NSWRL.
The NSWRL told Fox Sports charges were expected to be handed down later on Tuesday.
"We are confident the judiciary committee will deal with the issue appropriately," a spokesperson said.
Hopoate, 44, could potentially have to answer to two separate charges for the on-field and off-field (code of conduct) incidents.
"Within moments of being on the field, (Hopoate) committed two dangerous penalties, and then king hit one of our players twice! Only after the second offence did the referee send him off," part of the email read.
"Furthermore, he then proceeded to stand behind our bench and intimidate threaten our players to 'bash them after game'."
Hopoate told Fox Sports he had "acted like an idiot" but denied making further threats off the field.
"It was heat of the moment. It's footy, it happens on the field and that's it," Hopoate said.
"I carried on like an idiot and got sent off, that's it. I carried on like an idiot, who cares? It's the story of my life.
"I said I'd bash him on the field but what's wrong with that?"
Hopoate has a colourful history on the field. He was suspended for a whopping 45 weeks during his 12-year top-flight career.
The former Sea Eagles and Kangaroos winger said he would apologise to the Ferrets players at training on Tuesday night.