Hopoate in doubt for rest of

Manly winger John Hopoate could be out for the rest of the season after suffering a suspected broken ankle in his team's 27-16 loss to the Eels in their National Rugby League game at Parramatta Stadium yesterday.

The Eels led 22-16 in the dying stages before Nathan Hindmarsh ensured victory with a 73rd minute try, brushing off three defenders and diving low over the line. Halfback Michael Witt rubbed further salt into the wound with a 77th minute field goal.

The Eels now enjoy a bye next week and with another guaranteed two points in round 22, have revived their chances of a top eight finish.

Parramatta trailed 14-4 at the break and took the lead in the second half while winger Matt Petersen was in the sin-bin after a run-in with a touch judge. Eels coach Brian Smith has warned the 23-year-old from Perth he would be dropped from first grade if he was again sin-binned for swearing at a touch judge.