After over 14 seasons, filled with over 70 tries and 200 try assists, Mitchell Pearce will finally play his 300th NRL game this weekend.
He may’ve played 238 of them with the Sydney Roosters, however there’s no doubting he’s a nib Newcastle Knight through and through now.
Approaching his 32nd birthday, the man known as ‘Junior’ still has plenty of time to add to his total and may well join Melbourne great Cameron Smith in the 400 Club if things go to plan.
Thus far, it’s been a career littered with representative honours, a premiership and hundreds of highlights.
With that in mind, let’s have a look back over his glittering career thus far.
- In just Rd2 of the ’07 season, Pearce made his debut at the age of just 17 against North Queensland, starting at halfback for the Roosters in the 43-6 loss.
- After just three games, Pearce was earmarked as a future superstar and was given a three-year extension by the Roosters.
- Pearce managed 16 games in the top grade, scoring two tries and clocking 13 try assists.
- In the Rd14 clash with Penrith, Pearce scored a stunning 80 metre try in the final seconds of his sides 24-20 win over Penrith.
- 2008 was a massive year for Pearce, with the crafty No.7 catapulting himself into the representative arena off the back of a massive season for the Tricolours.
- Pearce managed 25 games and seven tries, including his first career hat-trick against the Cowboys in Rd21.
- Pearce made his representative debut, playing for City Origin against Country Origin in a 22-22 draw.
- At 19 years of age, Pearce made his NSW Origin debut in Game III of the series. The Blues went down 16-10 to Queensland, losing the series 2-1.
- Pearce got his first taste of semi-final football, with the Roosters finishing in the top four.
- Still just 19, Pearce was awarded the Jack Gibson Medal for the Roosters Player of the Year.
- 2009 was a year to forget for Pearce, with his Roosters crashing to the bottom of the ladder and finishing with the wooden spoon.
- Pearce played all 24 games, scoring seven tries and kicking a field goal.
- He notched his 50th game in the Rd9 loss to Melbourne, going down 28-12 to the eventual premiers on the Central Coast.
- If 2009 was one to forget, then 2010 was a season to remember for Pearce.
- Alongside Todd Carney and a resurgent Anthony Minichiello, Pearce led the Roosters from the doghouse to the penthouse, with a stunning charge seeing the Chooks make the Grand Final. They went down 32-8 to the Dragons, with Pearce starting at halfback.
- Pearce re-gained his Origin spot in Game II of the series, with the Blues going on to be whitewashed 3-0.
- Pearce finished the year with 22 games, including nine tries and 18 try assists, the most of his career thus far.
- He was awarded the Jack Gibson Medal for the second time.
- In an indifferent year for his Club, Pearce was a consistent standout throughout 2011, tallying an impressive 19 try assists.
- Pearce retained his NSW Origin jersey, completing his first full series in the 2-1 loss. He scored his first Origin try in the 16-12 Game I loss at Suncorp Stadium.
- Pearce also notched another cap for City Origin, playing halfback in the 18-12 loss.
- He played his 100th NRL game, a 34-26 win over the Panthers in Round 18.
- Pearce played 21 games as the Roosters finished 11th.
- The halfback managed to snare a spot in the Prime Minister’s XIII against PNG, winning 36-22.
Re-live the epic career of Mitchell Pearce (so far)
- Pearce went to another level in 2012, notching 10 tries and 22 try assists in his 22 games, however despite his good form, the Roosters only managed a 13th place finish.
- Rep footy again kept Pearce busy mid-year, playing for City Origin (24-22 loss) and all three games for NSW, where the Blues went down 21-20 in the decider.
- 2013 was a big one for Pearce, and started in the best possible fashion with the No.7 inking a four-year contract extension with the Roosters.
- Alongside new recruits James Maloney and Sonny Bill Williams, Pearce led the Roosters to a Grand Final, which the Chooks subsequently won 26-18 at ANZ Stadium.
- The Chooks also managed to take the Minor Premiership, the first of Pearce’s career.
- Pearce and Maloney both featured in the halves for NSW, going down narrowly to the Maroons 12-10 in the decider.
- Pearce won 20 of his 26 games at Club level, for a win percentage of 77%. It’s still the highest of his career.
- He also managed five tries and 24 try assists, with the latter still remaining his career best.
- He played his 150th game in 56-14 win over the Tigers in Rd23, scoring two tries.
- 2014 brought more of the same for Pearce, with the Roosters defending their premiership stoically in a season which delivered them another Minor Premiership.
- However, this time the Club bowed out in the Preliminary Finals thanks to a 32-22 loss to South Sydney.
- Pearce again played 26 games, scoring nine tries and setting up 18.
- He also collected the Jack Gibson Medal for a third time.
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- 2015 was a familiar story for the No.7, with the Roosters charging to a third straight Minor Premiership.
- He again led the team to a preliminary final, which they lost 31-12 to Brisbane.
- Pearce made his return to the Origin arena at five-eighth, playing all three games as the Blues again went down 2-1.
- He became the youngest player to ever reach 200 games when his Roosters beat out the Bulldogs 38-28 in Rd21.
- Pearce was appointed co-captain of the Roosters in a season where he notched 16 try assists and one try in his 21 games.
- After three straight seasons at the top, 2016 saw it all come crashing down for Pearce and the Roosters, with the Tricolours crashing to 15th on the ladder.
- Pearce himself only managed 12 games due to injury and suspension.
- Despite missing so much football, Pearce still managed 11 try assists and one try.
- His form was good enough to warrant selection in the Prime Minister’s XIII for a second time, playing at halfback in the 58-0 win over PNG.
- In his final season in red, white and blue, Pearce returned the side to second place on the table and into another preliminary final.
- He managed 23 games, with seven tries and 15 try assists to his name.
- Pearce kicked his first field goal in six seasons to clinch a 17-16 ANZAC Day win over the Dragons. He repeated the heroics a few months later in a 25-24 victory over eventual premiers Melbourne.
- The ANZAC Day field goal won him the Peter Frilingos Headline Moment of the Year award at the Dally M awards evening.
- Pearce’s terrific form saw him return to the Origin arena for all three games, with the Blues again going down 2-1.
- Pearce signed a four-year deal with the Knights at the conclusion of the season, becoming a marquee signing for the Club ahead of the 2018 season.
- Now wearing red and blue, Pearce was named captain of the Knights before a ball was kicked in 2018.
- The season couldn’t have got off to a better start, booting a golden point field goal to seal a 19-18 win over the Sea Eagles.
- Pearce started the season in blistering form, however a torn pectoral muscle in the Rd7 clash with the Tigers ruled him out for a bulk of the season.
- Pearce was so good both before and after his injury that he still managed to finish 5th in the Dally M Medal count.
- He finally notched his 250th game in the 20-4 loss to the Warriors in Rd22.
- He finished with 13 try assists and two tries in his 15 games, with the Knights finishing 11th.
- 2019 saw Pearce return to the Origin arena for Game III, where he had a hand in the match-winning try which sealed his first series win in eight attempts.
- Pearce’s early season form was the catalyst for his call up, winning six straight man of the match awards leading into the decider.
- Pearce played all but one game for the Knights, scoring eight tries and again notching 13 try assists as the Club again finished 11th.
- Playing every game, Pearce was instrumental in returning the Knights to a maiden finals series in over seven years.
- With new Coach Adam O’Brien taking the reins, Pearce responded well to his new boss.
- Without a halves partner for most of the season, Pearce was tasked with guiding the team, scoring two tries and notching 11 try assists in an up and down year for the Club.