When, this week, it was finally announced that #Rangi Chase had been given a two-year ban from all sports for failing a drugs test taken after a game in July, very few among the Rugby League fraternity had much sympathy left for a player whose career has been filled with more indiscretions than a Donald Trump government. Chase could have had it all; he had the skill and talent quite like no other in the sport, yet, his demons always, sadly, got the better of him and he exits Rugby League in a cloud of controversy.

Early career

Chase had only been something of a bit-part player for both of his NRL clubs - Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra Dragons - and so was rather an unknown quantity when he made his move to the Castleford Tigers on a two-year contract ahead of the 2009 Super League season.

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The Tigers were, back then, a struggling club - both on and off the field - having been relegated twice in three years just a few seasons earlier.

Chase, however, took to Castleford like a duck takes to water, and, in doing so, became something of a hero around the town, winning the Player of the Year award in his maiden season. In a move that would take Chase's hero-status to a God-like level, the talented half-back signed a new four-year deal in August 2009, despite still having a year left on his contract.

Off-the-field trouble

Rangi did, however, attract trouble in his private life and after having a less-than-happy upbringing, a move to England was, perhaps, a way of making a fresh start. The supposedly fresh start turned sour in April 2010, however, as Chase was dropped by then-Castleford boss Terry Matterson for a breach of discipline.

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And, in further evidence of his problematic past, in 2011, at Southport Magistrates Court, Chase pleaded guilty to causing Grievous Bodily Harm after a pub brawl in Australia's Gold Coast in 2008 had left his victim with a fractured jaw. The court issued Chase with a two-year suspended prison sentence which was hardly conducive for a player idolised by so many at the Castleford club.

Whilst off-the-field difficulties continued to dominate his life, his performances on the pitch became more brilliant with each passing game. It was just rewarding, therefore, that Chase not only won the Albert Goldthorpe Medal at the end of the 2011 season but that he also became only the second-ever Castleford player (the first was Adrian Vowles) to be awarded the most prestigious individual accolade - the Man of Steel. Wowing audiences consistently and being hailed as one of the finest to ever wear the Castleford shirt, Chase, almost single-handedly, earned Castleford a Challenge Cup semi-final place where he scored one of the greatest tries ever witnessed in Challenge Cup history.

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Home was England

Amid rife publicity and rumours about a move away, Chase, following such a stellar year, signed a four-year extension with the Tigers in September 2011. Just a month later, and in what became a greatly controversial move, Rangi changed his allegiance to England and was called up for the Four Nations later that year by the then England boss Steve McNamara. In a widely-publicised game, Rangi played scrum-half for his adopted country in the Four Nations Final against Australia, where Australia triumphed 30-8. Chase had not only settled so well in Castleford, but England as a whole seemed to be the place where the New Zealand-born star felt most at home.

Yet Rangi's off-the-field issues continued to rise to the surface. In June 2012, he was again suspended for disciplinary reasons by Matterson's infamous successor, Ian Millward. And, although his performances on the field suggested he was still happy at Castleford, extensive speculation about a possible move away from the Tigers overshadowed the 2013 season.

Move to Salford

Speculation did, in fact, become reality though as Rangi became one of the newly-rebranded Salford Red Devils' first signings - a club that was then bankrolled by a certain Dr Marwan Koukash - for a fee believed to be around £115,000. Although Rangi had moved clubs, he was still very much part of the England setup and was chosen to play stand-off for most of the 2013 World Cup. Chase's career at Salford was, however, incomparable to the one he had enjoyed at Castleford, and, unfortunately for Salford - and Koukash - he never hit the heights of previous seasons, despite some impressive moments.

For the next two years, Rangi seemed dejected and disconsolate when he appeared in a Salford shirt and the Red Devils continued to struggle despite Koukash's huge investment into the club. And, trouble once more reared its head when, in September 2015, he was yet again suspended pending an internal disciplinary investigation. Salford revealed that Chase was late for training and that the club had no other choice but to punish him.

In the same month, Koukash also spoke to the press, stating that, a few months earlier, Rangi had asked for a transfer after becoming unsettled at Salford and that Chase could now leave as a free agent. Having fit so perfectly into the Castleford system, Rangi was now clearly struggling and left the club just two years after being one of Koukash's high-profile coups.

Destination Leigh

It wasn't until November 2015 that Chase finally found a new club: Leigh Centurions. Leigh had, undoubtedly, signed the mercurial talent to get the Lancashire outfit promoted from the Championship and back into the top flight. Yet, still in the limelight, Chase failed to settle at Leigh and made just five appearances in the first three months of the 2016 season. Then, to the shock of Rugby League fans far and wide, Chase announced his retirement from the sport. And, in the same week and with even more heartfelt consequences, Rangi revealed he had been battling depression after splitting from his wife whilst at Salford.

The prodigal son returns home

Less than two months after his "retirement", however, Castleford Tigers announced that Chase would return to the club until the end of the 2016 season. With Rangi seemingly finding his feet once more at the Mend-a-hose Jungle after playing seven times and scoring once towards the back end of that season, he signed a one-year deal in September for 2017 with the option of another year. It appeared that Rangi had turned his career around at the club where he had made his name.

Castleford head coach Daryl Powell, in a clear show of loyalty, assigned Rangi the No.6 shirt ahead of Ben Roberts for the 2017 season; Powell's loyalty was initially repaid. In the Tigers' opening two games, Chase was a key figure in the defeats of both Leigh Centurions and Warrington Wolves. Yet, off-the-field, Chase could still not get his house in order and, before the Tigers' third match against Leeds Rhinos, the club suspended the half-back following an internal investigation.

It would take three more games before Powell felt Rangi was befitting of a spot in the team as Chase played a small cameo role as a substitute against Catalans Dragons. Rangi could only make the bench again a week later but showed glimpses of the class that Tigers' fans had once lapped up with two magnificent assists for two of Joel Monaghan's tries as Castleford put Huddersfield to the sword. Rangi would go on to appear four more times for the Tigers, but, unfortunately, Chase - once more - could not control his conduct away from the pitch and was again the subject of an internal investigation, blowing his last chance with the Tigers.

Castleford exit, Widnes exit, Rugby League exit

Rangi had, once more, let it all come crashing down and his time at Castleford was over for good. Miraculously though, his career was still salvageable; Widnes Vikings agreed to take Rangi on loan in May and then even signed him permanently in July after a few decent performances. However, Rangi just could not keep himself out of mischief.

In August 2017, it was revealed that Chase had tested positive for cocaine, leading to his suspension by the Vikings and an investigation by the UK Anti-Doping Agency. As everyone now knows, a two-year ban from any sport was slapped on Chase just this week - a punishment that could well be given to Zak Hardaker also.

Where and why did it all go wrong?

Rangi's career appeared to take a turn for the worse when he made the high-profile move to Lancashire with Salford, but, having such a young family to support and with a lucrative wage being dangled in front of his face, no one could really blame Chase for moving. In a team littered with stars, however, the once idol of the Castleford team and town, was no longer a big fish in a small pond. The messiah-like way in which the Tigers' faithful had treated Chase simply could not be replicated elsewhere.

Yet even if Chase had stayed at Castleford for the duration of his career, evidence past form suggests that he would still have had problems at the club he once claimed to love. Even when he returned to West Yorkshire in 2016, for example, he left Castleford with no option but to get rid of him after two serious breaches of discipline. In essence, the failure of the drugs test was just the final nail in the coffin for Chase's time in the sport.

With the talent and skill to mesmerise audiences and teammates alike, it was a sad ending to what once could have been a remarkable career. Rangi Chase: a player that became untouchable on a Rugby League field at the pinnacle of his career, has bowed out of the sport in ignominy. #RugbyLeague #Castigers