Posted: 25 October, 2016
I'm Responsible For Roosters Slide: Mitchell Pearce
Mitchell Pearce has shouldered the blame for the Sydney Roosters' 2016 fall from grace, accepting his Australia Day embarrassment had wrought a big toll on the club.
The former NSW Origin playmaker admits that he should wear a lot of the responsibility after his side slid from minor premiers to 15th this NRL season.
The Roosters limped out of the blocks after Pearce was banned for eight weeks and sent to rehab to address personal problems following the emergence of the now infamous video of him simulating a sexual act with a dog.
"I had a lot of regret and a lot of shame, a lot of stuff going on for a long time and that didn't go away until I started to come back," Pearce told the Locker Room podcast.
"To be honest I still don't feel comfortable about it. We finished second last, I was a big reason for that."
While injuries to Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Boyd Cordner as well as the departures of James Maloney and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck played their part in the side's slow start, Pearce said he had owned up to his failures.
Pearce was fined $125,000 and ultimately lost his State of Origin jumper as a result of the scandal.
The Roosters regained some semblance of form at the back end of the year, winning three of their last six - including against Brisbane and North Queensland - to salvage something from an otherwise forgettable year.
The 27-year-old admitted that he had a point to prove in 2017 and wanted to demonstrate he was a changed man.
"For me I learnt my lesson, I thought I came back and played really good footy but I think I've got a big year ahead of me," he said.
"Not because I owe anything ... But I've got to earn respect back and really ram home that you've learnt your lesson."