A six-figure transfer fee and a contract worth more than half a million per year? Worth it. Worth it, because John Bateman wasted little time in becoming a star in the NRL. It took little more than a fortnight before he became adored by fans who thought "this is the guy we've been missing". The mongrel, the winning attitude, the way he dragged his teammates across the finish line with him, the NRL second rower of the year award. The icing on the cake was Canberra's first grand final appearance in 25 years.