Before the plane had even left the tarmac at Sunshine Coast airport last Sunday night for the Knights return home following his side's loss to Melbourne Storm, Adam O'Brien was seriously pondering contingency plans.
Having lost his three best hookers to season-ending injuries, the Knights coach had already been thinking worse-case scenarios leading up to the game.
The only two recognised hookers left in his squad were Chris Randall and Luke Huth, who had played just 70 minutes of NRL between them.
Randall came up with a tackle-a-minute performance in a herculean debut against Penrith in round three but had not been used since while Huth is yet to debut. Both are development squad players.
O'Brien's only other options were manufactured ones. He could switch five-eighth Kurt Mann there or punt on young Phoenix Crossland, who had never played hooker in his life but was coming off the bench against the Storm to do exactly that on the back of a session or two under the tutelage of club legend Danny Buderus.
With nine games remaining and the finals if the Knights qualified, could his side survive with such a skeletal hooking staff?
That question was answered for O'Brien when Randall was forced off with concussion before halftime in the Storm game and did not return.
O'Brien's first thought when Randall reeled out of a head clash with teammate Lachlan Fitzgibbon was 'what if he had broken his jaw'. He knew then he needed to act and act quickly with the NRL's signing deadline expiring in less than 24 hours.
With some money left in the cap, the coach sold it to CEO Phil Gardner and the Wests board on Monday morning by telling them the club owed it to the fans to do whatever it took to try and win this season. The hierarchy agreed.
It then became a race to find the right player. Initially, it was about finding a replacement hooker and a list was drawn up. Names like Jake Granville from the Cowboys and the Titans' Nathan Peats were tossed up.
Phonecalls were made to agents mid-morning to see who was available. It was at that point Isaac Moses tossed up Blake Green, the veteran Warriors playmaker who had been told in no uncertain terms weeks earlier by the club's owner his services would not be required next season.
Green's no hooker but there was little doubt he would help the team and he was more than just interested. One of the first people O'Brien contacted was his skipper Mitchell Pearce.
He wanted Pearce to understand the reasoning behind the move if he went ahead with it. Straight away, Pearce was enthusiastic about it.
At the very least, it would take the pressure of the halfback's kicking game and his need to want to have his fingerprints on every play. O'Brien also spoke to Mann, arguably his side's best player this season, about a move to hooker. The coach was told whatever is best for the team.
It was then just a matter of making it happen.
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