The former Parramatta star had the world at his ever-magical feet. Now, he’s facing jail time after being found guilty of sexual assault.

A custodial sentence is inevitable, Judge Helen Syme said in Downing Centre District Court.
The life of a player often rises and falls, rises and falls, and then rises again before he drifts into retirement.
But its impossible to recall a fall from grace this hard. After living in a fantasy world for much of his life, Hayne on Monday faced real-world consequences for his actions.
Hayne poses with fans after helping the San Francisco 49ers to victory over Minnesota in the NFL.Credit:Getty
For much of his career, he had the rugby league world at his ever-magical feet. Dally Ms, Origin series wins, Test matches for his country.
This was the Hayne Plane and we all loved him, or at the very least marvelled at him, no matter who we supported.
Then he did the unfathomable, packing it all in and costing himself tens of thousands of dollars as he chased an NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers.
His breakout season in the NRL came in 2009 when he almost single-handedly dragged Parramatta to their first premiership since 1986, each week turning in a virtuoso performance as they edged first into the finals and then the decider against the Storm, which they lost.
Earlier that year, he was crowned Dally M Player of the Year, a fairy-tale achievement for a kid from the housing commission of Sydneys west.
His mum, Jodie, was his date that night. My Mum, my rock, Hayne said, choking up, in his acceptance speech.
Later that night, standing on the red carpet at the State Theatre, she was in tears, too.
People would look down their nose at me because I was a single mother with a half-caste child, Jodie said. And that just made me prouder and stronger. I couldnt be any prouder than now.
Hayne returned from his stint in America to a heros welcome from his old Parramatta fans. Credit:Getty
When Hayne announced in 2015 he was joining the 49ers, he said his goal in life was to buy my mum a house and I did.
An ashen-faced Jodie Hayne has been by her sons side for most of the past two-and-a-half years whenever hes fronted court: for the first mention at Burwood Local Court; then the first trial in Newcastle late last year which ended with a hung jury; then this past week as Hayne faced a second trial in Sydney.
He simply nodded and glanced at her and his group of supporters, which included father and former player Manoa Thompson and wife Amellia Bonnici, who he only recently married, when the verdict was handed down.
For most of his career, Hayne was the player to whom few ever said no.
To his family, he was a hero. To others, he was a pay cheque. To Parramatta, he was the player who could finally deliver a premiership. To the Titans, he was the bona-fide star who would attract crowds and sponsors.
Only a handful of players are ever that special. Even less handle the expectation, the hype, the constant pats on the back.
It brings an inevitable sense of entitlement and, in Haynes case, laziness. A long line of Parramatta coaches tried and usually failed to unlock the great player inside him.
Many years ago, one of them dropped a noticeable amount of weight. What was his secret? Veganism? No booze?
Coach Jarryd for a year and see how much weight you lose, was the sharp reply.
The vivid picture painted of the night of the incident turns the stomach: a famous footballer chatting up a woman via Instagram, catching a cab to her house, asking the driver to wait as he plonked a half-drunk Vodka Cruiser on top of the letterbox and walked inside, watched some of the grand final with the womans mother, lamenting the fact he couldve been out there playing for the Roosters, before entering the womans bedroom and then sexually assaulting her to the point where she bled.
Then, 46 minutes later, he slid into the back of the cab and headed back to Sydney so he could get back on the drink with the boys.
In the first trial, Crown prosecutor Brian Costello asked Hayne if he had jammed his fingers into the woman forcefully. He said he was going fast. How fast?
I didnt have a radar on that night, sorry, Hayne snapped.
Those in attendance cringed at the remark. This was a rape trial, not the NRL judiciary.
For 20 years, Hayne has been a footballer. A special one at that. As he learned on Monday, that entitles you to nothing.
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