In his debut season, he scored 2 tries and registered 13 try assists. A back injury kept him out of the latter part of the season. In an early career highlight, Pearce ran 80 metres to score a last-minute try, snatching victory for the Sydney Roosters against the Penrith Panthers in a 24–20 win on 16 June 2007.
His performances in the early rounds of the 2008 season were such that he was considered in the running for the New South Wales halfback position for the 2008 Rugby League State of Origin series. Pearce's Origin chances were strengthened when he was named as starting half-back for the City Origin Team in the annual City vs Country Origin match. In his senior representative debut, Pearce played a solid game, helping City to a 22-all draw with Country. On 24 June 2008, it was announced that he would replace the injured Peter Wallace as halfback for the NSW Blues against Queensland in the 2008 Origin Decider at ANZ Stadium on 2 July. The Blues were defeated 16-10.
In the 2013 season, Pearce formed a new halves combination with former New Zealand Warriors five-eighth, James Maloney. The two were subsequently selected as the NSW Blues 6 and 7. After winning the first game in Sydney, they were beaten by the Queensland halves in Game 2 and 3, leading to an eighth straight series victory for the Maroons.