Patience is a virtue. And Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has refused to blink in his hunt for a new halfback, despite having plenty of shiny playmakers dangled in front of him.
Now he's run down the No.7 he wanted, Jamal Fogarty, in a manner reminiscent of Josh Papalii in that famous moment now immortalised in a pair of Budgy Smugglers.
Stuart's close to prising him away from the Titans, despite having only just signed a contract extension until the end of 2023 and the Gold Coast initially putting their foot down and refusing to release Fogarty - as Raiders fans were starting to worry a new halfback wouldn't make his way to the capital for next season.
Fogarty looks set to join Jack Wighton in the Raiders halves, with the Gold Coast Titans co-captain also bolstering the Green Machine's leadership stocks.
While he played 21 games this season, he was in danger of falling behind 20-year-old half Toby Sexton next year.
Mitchell Pearce, Shaun Johnson, Corey Norman and Ash Taylor were among the high-profile names linked with the Raiders to fill the halfback hole left by George Williams' return to England due to homesickness.
Neither Sam Williams nor Matt Frawley were able to make the No.7 jersey their own following his departure, with the Green Machine attack never really clicking into gear.
Timing's everything. And if the Williams saga had come to a head earlier, then the Raiders could've had a crack at Adam Reynolds.
But the South Sydney captain signed for the Brisbane Broncos a week before Williams' final game in lime green.
Reynolds was by far the best credentialled halfback on the market this year - not surprising given he led the Rabbitohs to Sunday's NRL grand final.
He's involved in almost two tries per game with 1.92 total try involvements, has a good kicking game and the ability to nail clutch field goals.
Chad Townsend would've been another good option, but he'd signed with the North Queensland Cowboys well before Williams left.
The Raiders could've brought him in on a short-term deal - like the New Zealand Warriors did - but Stuart still would've needed a halfback for 2022.
Townsend averaged a try assist per game and almost 380 kick metres to lead the field in each of those statistics, while also having 1.81 try involvements.
Canberra were also offered still-contracted halves - Fogarty, Dylan Brown, Pearce, Chanel Harris-Tavita and Kodi Nikorima.
Harris-Tavita struggled this year, which was perhaps why the Warriors haven't rushed to re-sign him beyond 2022.
When he's fit, Pearce was still a high-performing No.7, but the 32-year-old only managed 12 games this season as he struggled with injury.
It was a similar problem for Johnson, who was interested in coming to Canberra before opting to return to the Warriors.
His kicking game stood up well - whether it was 90 per cent goal kicking, almost 360 kick metres per game or an average of 1.5 forced drop outs - but he managed just 10 games this year and 16 in 2020.
Brown was never really likely to leave Parramatta.
Nikorima was keen to return to an Australian club, but the Warriors preferred him at five-eighth and brought in Townsend to finish the season at halfback instead of using him.
Both Norman and Taylor carry baggage.
The former's been dogged by off-field issues, including his involvement in a street brawl in January, while the latter struggled to cope with the expectations of his $1 million Titans contract.
How does Fogarty stack up statistically?
He's about average with this group of fellow halfbacks for tries scored (0.2), try assists (0.6), total try involvements (1.1), linebreak assists (0.6) and forced drop outs (0.6).
His defence compared well with a tackle efficiency of 83 per cent, while his running and kicking games were also above average.
Fogarty averages 41.9 run metres, 0.4 linebreaks and 308 kick metres.
He also provides another goal kicking option, with a conversion rate of 77 per cent this year, which could be important given Jarrod Croker's (knee) continuing injury woes.
Now Raiders fans have to be patient and wait until next year to find out whether he'll be able to help steer the Green Machine back into the top eight.
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