There was a time earlier on in the 2022 Super League season when Hull KR star Brad Takairangi feared prison time.
The former Parramatta Eels utility man had crashed into a police car whilst going down the wrong way on a dual carriageway – and drunk.
Police dashcam footage of the moment Takairangi hit the vehicle head-on was shown in court with PC Elvidge suffering injuries to his left knee and neck, as well as psychological damage.
For Takairangi, it’s been a case of learning about himself and trying to move on in the best way possible, but he has been saddened by an injury that ensured he would not return to the field for Rovers.
“2022 has definitely been a year of learning for myself,” Takairangi told Serious About Rugby League.
“It’s been frustrating in the sense that I was just keen to get back and help the team and repay the faith the club showed in me by playing some good footy.
“Then to get that hamstring injury when I did was a sad way to finish my time on the field at KR.”
The Cook Islands international has also spoke of his respect for those involved at Rovers and paid tribute to Tony Smith who helped him through the dark days.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for Neil (Hudgell – KR owner), Paul (Lakin – KR CEO) and especially Tony (Smith) at the time who stuck by me, he was like a father figure to me during my court case and those tough times.
“He definitely helped me come out the other side a better person so it was a sad way for him to end his time at KR like he did as well.”
Despite Takairangi’s troubled year, the 300 hours of unpaid work that the utility man has had to undergo, has helped him become a better person.
“The silver lining of it all has been I’ve been able to do a lot of community service hours working with all the women’s Hull KR teams from the 13s, 14s, 16s and the women’s team,” Takairangi continued.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work there and going to school and doing clinics to basically give back to the community. It’s definitely something that I will look to do in the future.
“I’ve got 50 more hours until I’m done (with community service) and that has been a positive in what has been a negative year.”
Of course, Takairangi will depart Craven Park at the end of the 2022 season.