Dogs finals disaster without Hopoate

Dogs finals disaster without Hopoate

The rugby league gods were not on Canterbury’s side after Will Hopoate sat out the Bulldogs’ NRL elimination final against Penrith.

Hopoate missed Sunday’s Allianz Stadium clash due to his religious beliefs.

And while Penrith were deserved 28-12 winners, very little went the Bulldogs’ way.

Hopoate’s replacement at fullback Brett Morris struggled with a knee injury late in the first half that eventually resulted in him leaving the game on the hour mark.

Second half injuries to Michael Lichaa and Josh Reynolds also cruelled their afternoon.

Hopoate was granted the right to miss Sunday matches as part of his contract after moving from Parramatta in the off season

Retiring Sam Perrett, also a Mormon, was a late inclusion for the Dogs after recovering from a neck injury for his final NRL game.

“I haven’t spoken to him, but I know he would have been following it via updates on his phone,” said Perrett, who also revealed earlier this year he was keen to sit out Sunday games but was turned down by Dogs management.

“It is an important day for him and I’m sure he will be with us tomorrow when we get together.”

“I know he will be as gutted as we all are.”

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