Different courses for different horses or vice versa (I never remember) will get different results a lot of the time.The difference is Papalii went to another club and performed straight away. Lane went to Manly for two years and is in his 4th year at Parramatta. He’s also playing in a good team where there are at least three other quality 2nd rowers in their team.
I don’t think you can keep people on the books for five years hoping they’ll turn out well eventually. Players will look for opportunities elsewhere and it’s a high risk that you are going to be wasting money on a flop.
Agree, it's a gamble to wait for something to pay off, it may never.