OPINION: Ghosts win a trick securing Danny Wicks for 2017
BEHIND THE DESK: What impact will the return of Danny Wicks in 2017 have on the Grafton Ghosts and Group 2 Rugby League?
FROM a losing hand to a lay-down misere in one fell swoop; if you thought Grafton Ghosts were playing a losing hand, think again.
Just as the club had descended into limbo, failing to fill its executive and an uncertainty around maintaining the quality on its playing roster, it's been handed a lifeline in the form of Danny Wicks.
Unlike similar stories of older NRL offcuts going back to grassroots CRL clubs, he's not returning because of an increasing struggle to hold down a first grade spot. Indeed, the Ghosts can expect a higher quality player than the one who graced Frank McGuren Field in 2010 - most certainly in terms of a redeemed reputation.
By rights, a 30-year-old one season back into the highly competitive NRL from five years out of the game should not have been the first picked forward in a side that, at one stage, was touted genuine title contenders. But he was.
When the roof caved in, everything imaginable that could go wrong at the Eels went wrong - apart from the Danny Wicks story. He appeared to go from strength to strength.
He'd done it. Completed his successful comeback. Hence the shock when he chose to turn his back on a chance to keep cashing on the NRL machine so hastily for Clarence Valley's quiet charm.
Parramatta must really feel they lost a trick.
For Grafton, it's a lay-down misere.