Storm emerge as favourites to sign Kieran Foran
BRAD Arthur sat in the press conference and offered the only explanation possible.
In another room, the big guy got him. Kieran Foran was just two games back from catastrophe and now Arthur was a two-time loser.
"He played well and that's what they've got him there for, to control the game," Arthur said.
He knew it. That's why he got Foran to Parramatta last year, to do exactly what he did for the Warriors on Sunday.
It was no fault of his.
Anyway, nothing stays still for long with Foran. Already he is working on rewriting an ending we were all beginning to pencil in.
Great Talent Until Something Happened.
Now Foran is in the process of rewriting it again and some, with a little licence, believe where he ends up next season should be like the ending to any good story.
This little drama opens with the events that led to Foran slaying Parramatta on Sunday, which began last year in his sleep.
Foran was recovering from his first shoulder operation. One of those painful operations where the cut goes deep and the size of the pain seems to have no connection to the size of the tiny muscle operated on and the recovery seems a long way away.
Foran went home and slept with his arm in a sling and woke in tremendous pain.
He never felt anything like it.
Around him, life was already in chaos.
But the pain ...
What Foran did not know was that sometime during the night, in the wrong sling, he jerked and tore the muscle all over again.
He woke the next morning in a pain that was foreign. Someone had taken a sledgehammer to his shoulder.
Foran had never had this operation before. He thought the pain was normal.
Only painkillers could help and they were sending him batty. Making him tired and the recovery was slow.
Arthur wanted Foran back.
All the advice he got was that Foran should be nearly ready to play. He believed getting Foran back to the field quickly was the best remedy for all that other stuff going on.
It is not an uncommon thought.
What Arthur did not know was that the night Foran slept after that operation he was in the wrong sling for the operation he underwent. He was supposed to be in a sling that locked the arm in place during sleep. It was not the right sling and the muscle tore again.
Only painkillers, a silent curse themselves, saw him through.
That's where it began.
Arthur began insisting he wanted Foran at training. Idle minds are no good for footballers and Arthur did not want Foran at home, with little to do.
Foran resisted, as much because the painkillers were sending him to sleep on the drive down, twice nearly ending in accidents.
It was a spiral neither could break from.
He lasted less than a half of football in his return when the reality of his injury could not be hidden by drugs.
Foran eventually left Parramatta, damaged goods.
While everybody was sure he would eventually be back nobody was sure what version we would see.
It has taken two games to get that verdict.
And now Foran is in the process of writing what might be the unlikeliest of endings.
Melbourne is the early favourite to snare Foran from the Warriors.
Forget Canterbury and his links to coach Des Hasler. Forget about the Wests Tigers and believe Foran is a less than even chance of staying in New Zealand.
Just a week ago Cooper Cronk announced he was leaving Melbourne at season's end and already the Storm, showing the class of the joint, are thinking big.
While everybody has talked of a rebuild, coach Craig Bellamy is thinking premierships. Such is their magic.
Tohu Harris and Jordan McLean are leaving so there is plenty of room in the cap. Bellamy's coaching appeals to Foran.
Until now the Storm have not been mentioned in the same sentence as Foran but have gone quietly about inquiring his availability.
Foran is keen and that's why he will end up in Melbourne. It adheres to the rules for any good ending to a story.
It should be completely unexpected but, on reflection, make perfect sense.