THE HAYNE PAIN: Ex­hausted, col­lapsed, vom­it­ing and leg­less ... and it was only half­time

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - MICHAEL CARAYANNIS

I was rooted ... I ac­tu­ally col­lapsed in the change rooms, (I was) spew­ing up. I was sit­ting there go­ing, ‘ F — k, I could be

the first cen­tre to get sub­sti­tuted.’

Jar­ryd Hayne col­lapsed af­ter vom­it­ing dur­ing the half­time break in his Ori­gin re­turn. He ques­tioned if he could go on. His body had failed him for the first time. Ex­haus­tion had won as he was pushed to “hell and back” dur­ing Ori­gin I in Brisbane.

The match was Hayne’s first for NSW since re­turn­ing from the NFL. And it took just 40 min­utes to re­mind him why he con­sid­ers Ori­gin the tough­est arena he has played in.

“I was rooted,” Hayne said. “I ac­tu­ally col­lapsed in the change rooms, (I was) spew­ing up. I was sit­ting there go­ing ‘F— k, I could be the first cen­tre to get sub­sti­tuted.’

“(Josh Dugan) was be­hind me, I’m col­laps­ing and he was just that bug­gered as well that he was look­ing at me like a zom­bie. My legs just got like jelly. It was weird. I was ac­tu­ally walk­ing to the bath­room, we’d sat down, we’d spo­ken and I was try­ing to get some Pow­er­ade and some water.

“I went to walk and my head started spin­ning, my legs started get­ting a bit funny. I just re­mem­ber go­ing ‘wow’.

“But you’ve just got to go out there and just keep go­ing. You’ve got to go to hell and back, so I wasn’t re­ally scared about it. I was fed but it is what it is.”

Blues doc­tor Nathan Gibbs said Hayne had taken to the field in Ori­gin I with a se­vere head cold. His chest was con­gested and he was cough­ing, which con­trib­uted to his body breaking down at half­time.

“I’m quite amazed with how he played,” Gibbs said.

“We were try­ing to put flu­ids and elec­trolytes in him but when you’re unwell you can’t tol­er­ate that stuff and you can some­times vomit it back up.

“I said be­fore the game I thought it was good karma be­cause the year we won it in 2014 he was very unwell in game one in Queens­land and he played a great game.”

Hayne has never felt ex­haus­tion like it. He is the most capped cur­rent Blues player with 21 games, has fea­tured in a World Cup final and a grand final. He’s has played in the NFL and on the world sevens stage, but this was dif­fer­ent.

“I haven’t lost my legs like that at half­time, that was pretty scary,” Hayne said. “If I hadn’t put my head onto the ta­ble and crouched down I was gone. I was lit­er­ally go­ing to go. I could feel my body do­ing it I could feel my legs, it was like ‘far out’. It was weird.

“It’s Ori­gin, you need to go to hell and back. You can’t be sit­ting there feel­ing sorry for your­self. You col­lapse, you col­lapse, then you get up and keep go­ing. If you’re com­ing off you’re com­ing off on a stretcher. I’ve seen blokes go to hos­pi­tal af­ter games and be­ing iced up and say­ing that they’re out for months but they turn up the next week.

“It’s just sur­real. And you go away, and you watch (Ori­gin), and you know the feel­ing of what peo­ple are go­ing through. You know the feel­ing. As much as you miss it, you know the pain they’re go­ing through and that’s what sep­a­rates this game from any other game in the world.”

Hayne can only re­mem­ber telling him­self at half­time that he needed to get through an­other 40 min­utes. And he did, scor­ing a try to en­sure a fa­mous NSW vic­tory. It was Ori­gin mo­ments like this which Hayne missed the most dur­ing his time away.

“You go away and then come back and re­alise watch­ing it on TV how much it means to you and how much you miss it,” he said.

“I re­mem­ber watch­ing it and just wish­ing I was out there or (won­der­ing) if I could have an im­pact or not. Age as well ... I’m not get­ting any younger and it’s some- thing the first camp with the age of the players (I’ve re­alised). I think I’m the sec­ond old­est. I’ve al­ways been the youngest.”

Two years ago, Hayne was an Ori­gin spec­ta­tor. He watched from his San Fran­cisco home as the Blues un­suc­cess­fully tried to re­tain the Ori­gin shield as he chased his NFL dream. Hayne keeps tabs on his for­mer 49ers team­mates, speak­ing reg­u­larly with the likes of Reg­gie Bush and Ken­dall Gask­ins. Hayne left his

Amer­i­can bud­dies in awe when he spoke of Ori­gin.

“It was awe­some I was over there telling the boys what it’s about,” he said. “And how fe­ro­cious the game is and what it’s like and show­ing the boys high­lights. They just think we’re crazy. When we start throw­ing punches and that they’re just go­ing, ‘ you can’t get any cra­zier, you’re al­ready crazy.’ I was try­ing to say: ‘lis­ten but, Ori­gin is next level, it’s even be­yond what you nor­mally see in a nor­mal game.’

“I def­i­nitely missed it and these are very spe­cial ( mo­ments). Ori­gin is some­thing you dream of as a kid and it’s the big­gest stage you can com­pete on.”

It’s Ori­gin, you need to go to hell and back

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