Michael Cheika is gone, the Wallabies are out of the World Cup and Australian rugby is tearing itself apart, but can the Canberra Vikings give a suffering sport something to smile about?
The players hope so as they prepare for the National Rugby Championship grand final in Perth on Saturday.
Because while boardroom wars and coaching drama is dominating the news, an exciting group of relatively unknown players, or in other cases forgotten players, are making their mark for the future.
Playmaker Noah Lolesio slotted a match-winning conversion in a semi-final thriller last week, further staking his claim to be the ACT Brumbies' No. 10 next year.
Ryan Lonergan is impressing as his halves partner. Then there's Mack Hansen, Tom Ross, Darcy Swain and Rob Valetini.
Snubbed World Cup hopefuls Pete Samu, Toni Pulu, Joe Powell and Tom Banks are there, too. And the Vikings hope a grand final battle can give Australian rugby a reprieve from the insanity, even if it's brief.
"If we play a good brand of rugby and put on a good show, then there's no reason why not," said Will Miller, who has moved to Canberra as the man to replace David Pocock.
"Hopefully we get some support around and get some good viewers."
The NRC has been pushed to the background in Rugby Australia's thinking this year as all energy was put into the World Cup.
The Vikings, and their grand final opponents the Western Force, have toiled away quietly in the background.
The championship match will most likely be a blip on the radar given the Wallabies' search for a new coach and intense scrutiny on the leadership of the game.
The reality is there are some shining lights in both sides, which proves all is not lost for rugby in Australia.
The Vikings boast several former junior Wallabies, including Lolesio, Lachlan Lonergan and Nick Frost. All three will get a chance to play Super Rugby at some point next year.
"This season for me has been really special and memorable," Lolesio said.
"But I'm just going to keep my head down and focus on this weekend. It's a grand final, all of the boys will get up for it. I'm keen to see what we can do."
The Vikings can actually thank Force coach Tim Sampson for helping talented teen Lolesio settle into Canberra almost two years ago.
Back then Sampson was the Tuggeranong coach, setting Lolesio up in a southside house and then preparing to usher him into first grade rugby.
Sampson was offered the Force job before he got a chance to work with Lolesio, who is one of three players competing for the Brumbies' flyhalf role next year.
Now they get a chance to go head to head for a shot at the NRC title.
"When I came down straight after [I finished] school, I met with with [Sampson] and he set me up in one of the Vikings houses," Lolesio said.
"Sambo was really helpful for me and I'll be forever grateful to him."
The Force will be heavy favourites to win the NRC title two years after being axed from Super Rugby.
"They're a great side," Miller said of the Force. "They've showed that with how they've played and they got the minor premiership.
"I think we've just got to put our best foot forward, trust our ability and hopefully come out on top."
NRC GRAND FINAL
Saturday: Western Force v Canberra Vikings in Perth, Saturday 3pm (AEST).