Back to work: Mitchell Pearce and Trent Robinson leave training on Monday.

Back to work: Mitchell Pearce and Trent Robinson leave training on Monday. Photo: Brendan Esposito

The reality of what alcohol does for Mitchell Pearce's life and career cannot be any clearer.

Last year, he gave up the booze – no small feat for a 25-year-old footballer – learnt to meditate, lived with the restraint of a Tibetan monk and then guided the Roosters to the NRL premiership.

Law and order: Mitchell Pearce is taken away by police on Sunday morning.

Law and order: Mitchell Pearce is taken away by police on Sunday morning. Photo: Channel 9

On Sunday morning, having drained his first schooner, and then some, since Christmas, he was frogmarched by police up Roslyn Street in Kings Cross.

He could face police charges for allegedly grabbing a woman inside popular Cross nightclub Beach Haus, and if that's so he may as well set fire to his NSW No.7 jumper for the State of Origin opener later this month.

What has cut Pearce deeper, according to those at the Roosters, is the irreparable damage he may have done to his relationship with his girlfriend, Phoebe Carpenter, who has stood by his side through many turbulent times; through the Playboy Bunnies and Pussycat Dolls and adverse headlines.

Half the battle: Mitchell Pearce takes on Parramatta in round two.

Half the battle: Mitchell Pearce takes on Parramatta in round two. Photo: Getty Images

Pearce is not the first and won't be the last twentysomething to have issues with alcohol, but this latest episode could cost him an Origin jumper, a relationship and end in further police charges.

There's stuffing up, and then there's blowing it all. Pearce is at a crossroads, pure and simple.

The day had started well enough for Pearce and the Roosters.

Having pumped Wests Tigers the night before, the whole team attended the SG Ball grand final at Leichhardt Oval, watching the Roosters beat Penrith in golden-point extra time.

The players then headed to legendary eastern suburbs haunt the Clovelly Hotel.

When the sun went down, most of the players went home. "But the playboys went out," says one source. "To the Cross."

Nothing good happens at the Cross, as they say in League Land, even with the Draconian curfews and lockouts that have apparently dulled the notorious strip.

Ricky Stuart famously banned his players from attending the Cross when he was Roosters coach.

That was more than a decade ago. You'd think the penny might've dropped by now with league players that it's a young footballer's Bermuda Triangle.

Given the issues Pearce has had in the past, the mere thought of heading to the Cross should've sounded a warning in his head that this would be a mistake.

That he went there instead of one of the many kebab shops on Coogee Bay Road is a worry in itself.

Predictably, Pearce's error of judgment has given reason for his legion of detractors to kick him in the teeth again.

That great paragon of rugby league commentary – Twitter – went into meltdown on Sunday when news of the Pearce incident emerged, claiming how his impending sacking from Laurie Daley's NSW team would actually help the Blues.

As the son of Wayne Pearce – the Australia, NSW and Balmain legend, and now ARL Commissioner – "Junior Junior" has been scrutinised as a player from the moment he played first grade for the Roosters as a teenager.

No other player has worn the brunt of criticism for NSW's series defeats in the last eight years like the halfback.

At times, it has been justified. Most times, it has not with the invective bordering on cliche.

Did NSW lose the Origin decider, by two points and a badly sprayed tanned streaker, because of Mitchell Pearce?

Better judges than you and me – an Immortal in Andrew Johns and a two-time premiership winner in Brad Fittler – will say no. One player does not lose an Origin.

It took weeks for Pearce to break his silence after the game-three loss.

"There was nothing to be said really," he told me. "We lost the game. No words are going to change it. It's all shit talk, really.''

Then he added: "The goals and ambitions I've got in my footy career, I don't think I'm halfway up the ladder of how I want to be as a player, and the influence I want to have at a club level. If I keep working hard with my team, with my coaches, I know that I can have an influence at that level. If they want to go with someone else next year, and they are going better than me at the time, I will be hoping they win.''

If Pearce wants to continue climbing the proverbial ladder, he has to give away alcohol, at least during the season. Missing Origin this year, because of his own stupidity, should spell that out.

It can't be any clearer.

Twitter: @awebstar1