A contrite Mitchell Pearce says Laurie Daley was right to dump him from the Blues Origin squad after his ill-fated night on the tiles in Kings Cross two weeks ago.
In the unfamiliar position of playing club footy while his NSW teammates prepared for the series opener at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday, Pearce turned in a composed performance as he steered the Roosters to a 32-12 win over competition leaders the Bulldogs on Friday.
Speaking to the media for the first time since being handed a one-match suspension and a $20,000 fine for a wild night out that resulted in him being arrested and kicked out of two Sydney nightspots, Pearce was honest and open in discussing Daley's decision to axe him from a NSW squad that he has been a regular fixture in since 2010.
''He did [the right thing], he needs to set a good example,'' Pearce said.
''They're working hard to get a good culture there and I brought the game into disrepute.''
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Pearce refused to confirm he would impose a drinking ban on himself, despite the incident that cost him the Blues No.7 jumper coming after he had abstained from alcohol for the majority of the season.
"I'm not going to come out and say anything rash like that," said Pearce, who produced career-best form last year when he refused to touch a drop during the Roosters’ march to the 2013 premiership.
"No, I'm just going for a bit of a balance. I'm working through a few things, knuckling down.
"Drinking excessively during the season is not the best look and not the best thing for your footy. For me I play best when I'm balanced and knuckle down so that's what I intend to do."
The Roosters halfback also said he had been in contact with NSW skipper Paul Gallen and vice-captain Robbie Farah, admitting they were "disappointed" by his actions.
''Yeah, I've spoken with Robbie and Gal and a couple of other boys,'' said Pearce.
''I hope they do well, I'm not bitter or anything.
"They were supportive and asked what happened. At first I'm sure they were probably disappointed because it probably didn't look real good at the start, but that's life.
"Life goes on. I've learnt from it. I put my hand up, I made a mistake and life goes on."
With Bulldogs halfback Trent Hodkinson assuming the role Daley had guaranteed as Pearce's until his indiscretion a fortnight ago, Pearce will find himself in a difficult position come Wednesday night when he watches the interstate clash.
A win by the Blues will all but confine Pearce to the sidelines for this year's series as NSW aim to break Queensland's eight-year stranglehold on the shield, but a loss could see him recalled to the side.
Pearce was adamant he was focused solely on his club form as the Roosters look to gain momentum after an up-and-down start to their premiership defence.
''I'm honestly not thinking about coming back [to Origin] or any stuff like that,'' he said.
"I'll probably get a little bit envious but that's why you play footy I suppose – to be competitive.
"I'm actually excited to watch them and genuinely hope we do well.
"Having been a part of it, there's a lot of boys I get along with in there. I hope they do well but at the same time I'm excited because [on Friday night] it was good to get my confidence back.
''Especially in the club scene, if you go away to Origin you miss out on what the team is trying to develop and we're under the pump at the moment.
"[Friday night] was a big win for us and we've got a big month ahead and I'm excited to be a part of that.''