Yeah I seam remember the panic when oates contract came up last time (previous to blood poisoning etc.). There were people certain the cowboys would scoop him up for 600,000 or 700,000.Are you sure there was no interest in the Australian fullback and a QLD winger?
It mimicked what was going on with fiffita, except in that instance we "won" the battle for the contract.
The same thing is being said of some of our young guns now and it's a cautionary tale. For the record I think it was the right decision with fiffita to hold the line with the money, but time will tell.
Outside of smith, there are few players we have lost out on long term with potential versus the reality, but the few we have are memorable.
In the end, you can't keep them all, but I think it's sound strategy to build from within with good (Nrl ready) players and augment with the occasional star than go all out try to buy a spine and fit your squad around them. That's what the titans have done until recently and they inevitably pay the price as potential spine players and rising stars leave to a club where certain positions and players are set in stone.
In short, build the core of the team from within, be flexible with selections, and be prepared to let your stars play reserve. This has been our mistake. Lastly be prepared to sacrifice performance in the short term to instill the right attitude.
Dropping macca for Turpin was fair enough, but when we brought in saguaro mid-season and playing him without any idea where his head was at, we were playing with fire and we got burnt.
It was worth a shot, but you have be super-cautious of those type of players and let them show consistency in the lower grades (on and off the field).
If I had to sum up why we have failed these last two seasons it's that we rushed a lot of things and we're too impatient for immediate success.