Controversial figure John Hopoate has been forced to watch on helplessly as the Manly under-18s copped yet another worrying loss in Sydney.
The former NSW and international winger was not allowed to sit with the Sea Eagles’ SG Ball coaches at Brookvale Oval on Saturday but watched on in the adjacent box as Canberra beat the side 34-10.
The Sea Eagles are locked in a tense stoush with the NRL after the governing body demanded he be stood down over concerns about his character.
Their disagreement looks headed for court after the NRL had knocked back an offer to go into mediation, with his barrister Julieanne Levick promising to instigate action on Monday in the Supreme Court.
Hopoate declined to talk when approached by AAP after the game.
He watched on alongside Manly patriarch Bob Fulton, high in the Brookvale stands, as the side suffered their second heavy defeat from their first two games.
Former South Sydney and Lebanon forward Darren Maroon stood in as coach as Hopoate was restricted to being an interested onlooker.
His son Bonnie captained the side, playing at centre and fullback.