The Quick Tap

HOPOATE OR LAFAI? WHICH WAY WOULD YOU GO?
The Canterbury Bulldogs have signed Will Hopoate with big centre Tim Lafai apparently on his way to the St George Illawarra Dragons or the Penrith Panthers. Bulldogs CEO Raelene Castle said: “Will is an exciting young player who has already achieved so much in the game.” Yes Hopoate has won a premiership and represented New South Wales, but his club form has been suspect since returning from a Mormon mission and simply didn’t deliver at Parramatta. Lafai on the other hand seems to still be improving and could really become a star of the game if he can get to that next level. For Hopoate, 2016 is a huge season and he needs to perform on a weekly basis.

 
LAST DRINKS
Which NRL Assistant Coach had one too many recently and was thrown out of a well-known southern Sydney establishment. He’ll keep his job due to being a “relative clean skin”.

 
PRESSURE ON COACH MAGUIRE
For the first time in his impressive NRL coaching career Michael Maguire is under pressure. Even without Sam Burgess’ return, the Rabbitohs are coming off the back of a disappointing 2015 campaign. Now Souths have their prodigal son back but they’ll also be without Australian centre Dylan Walker and it’s a fait acompli that they will also be without Queensland forward Chris McQueen. What Sam Burgess brings can’t merely be counted in hit-ups and tackles but you have to wonder how the Rabbitohs fill the void of Walker and McQueen. It’s a big off season for Coach Maguire.

 
RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Game One of the Americas World Cup qualifiers was claimed on the weekend by the USA 20-14 over Jamaica. There will be a mid-week clash between Canada and Jamaica before the Wolverines back-up on the weekend against the United States in Jacksonville. I’m tipping Canada to roll the Jamaicans and USA to book their place at the 2017 World Cup.

 
LOCKYER WILL BE OFFERED MAROONS GIG
Former Queensland five-eight Kevin Walters is the hot favourite to take over from Mal Meninga as the new Maroons Coach but mark these words – Darren Lockyer will be approached whether the QRL admit it or not.

 
SHARKS TO WIN THE PREMIERSHIP IN 2016
Take this with the grain of salt it deserves but I had a dream over the weekend that Cronulla and Brisbane battled it out for the 2016 premiership with the Sharks coming away with their maiden premiership. Get on the Sharkies!

 
@woodward_curtis

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