The NRL off-season is in full swing this week.

Less a full 7 days after the 2020 Grand Final, and the Sydney Morning Herald has hit the ground running with a vague story about Cowboys players rooting married women and club doctors handing out prescriptions like smarties.

However, while the simple acts of Diazepam abuse and out-of-wedlock affairs seem quite vanilla for the average NRL scandal – the fact that this article was written by Kate McClymont suggests there might be a bit more to come.

While the media extended an olive branch to the embattled code by largely ignoring any scandals until they had gotten through the pandemic-affected season, the fact that over 90% of the game has just been released from their covidbubbles and into society means the headlines will be coming thick and fast.

The newfound freedom to go to the pub and travel domestically has resulted in a barrage of social media activity from the playing group, with not just the premiership winners burning the candle on some post season benders.

With the 2020 season pushed back six weeks during the nationwide lockdown, the window to get on the piss before pre-season is much smaller this year.

One prominent goal-kicking centre, Malkem Jumelle (27) is now faced with a difficult decision.

Does he take the missus and their kids to Yamba from now until Christmas, or does he go out tonight with his mates and consume close to 50 standard drinks.

The Vodka Red Bull, also known as The Townsville Teabag or a One Armed Scissor, is a caffeinated alcoholic beverage consisting of energy drink Red Bull and varying amounts of vodka.

As a cocktail, it has been wildly popular with young Australian men ever since Jimmy Barnes made it okay to drink white spirits in the 1980s.

While Malkem and his team mates look good for a 2021 finals dash, and his family are due for a nice little getaway after the high-pressure quarantine season that was, he’s also itching for a couple blow-outs.

And regardless of whether or not he consciously realises it, Malkem is also itching for a punch-on, having not thrown fists with a stranger since Melbourne Cup Day 2017.

The rising City Origin veteran says he knows a lot rides of his behaviour over the next couple years, and knows that if he can avoid any injuries or contract-ending scandals, he might just get the chance to wear a Maroon jersey.

However, that said, his mate Nipper has just texted him a photo of eight schooners on a bar table in a high-visibility beer garden down the road.

With his wife cutting him a bit of slack over the last few weeks, he’s not meeting any resistance at home.

“I’ll meet the boys halfway” he says, making an unprecedented compromise to protect his brand and household income.

“I’ll have dinner at home first and then meet them out in the Valley later”

At time of press, Malkem was pre-drinking jager pepsis over a spag bol with his young family.

“I think the boys have booked a hotel so we probably won’t be out too late” he tells his wife with a kiss, after applying 19 full sprays of cologne.

“See ya tomorrow babe”


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