New South Wales led by 10 points at half-time and looked the better team, but a series of poor decisions invited the Maroons into the contest in the second 40 minutes and Queensland made them pay to level the series.
Here are the NSW player ratings from Origin II at ANZ Stadium.
1. James Tedesco
Allowed the big boys to belt each other for 20 minutes and then burst into the game, providing the final pass for Hayne's try and burst through the middle of the Maroons defence before putting Pearce away. Forced off with a head knock 20 minutes from full-time and only got back on in the dying stages. 6.5/10.
2. Brett Morris
Confined to carries from deep early but showed great polish to score the Blues' second try and worked well with Hayne to keep Chambers and Gagai in check for much of the night until Gagai's two tries stole the game away from them. 7/10.
3. Josh Dugan
Struggled to assert himself in attack but when his team needed a tackle in the final seconds of the first half he was there to get under Morgan and hold him up. Grew in stature as the game wore on and moved to fullback to cover for Tedesco late, producing a timely kick return to give his side momentum and pick-up in his in-goal. 7/10.
4. Jarryd Hayne
Speed and strength to force Chambers over the sideline early and then powered through tackle of Cronk to score Blues' first try. Should have passed to an unmarked Morris eight minutes from half-time and flick midway through the second half was careless and put his side under pressure. Went for big plays when conservative would have served his side better. 5/10.
5. Blake Ferguson
Caught in no man's land for Queensland's first try but started to make up for it with a tackle on Holmes midway through first half that forced an error. Good first-up contact to help stop Morgan scoring with final play of the first half. Strong carries in second half helped NSW out of territory. 5.5/10.
6. James Maloney
Gave away two early penalties to cede territory to the Maroons and first points but showed deft hands to put Blues in motion for their first try. Kick on fourth tackle to earn repeat set in first half was clever and glided past Glasby to set up the try for Brett Morris. Running battle with Slater was very fun to watch but couldn't finish it off for his side. 7/10.
7. Mitchell Pearce
Early kicking game was on point and was prominent in two of the Blues' first half tries, backing up a bust from Tedesco like all good halfbacks should. Kick that resulted in Gagai being caught in-goal was class but he didn't take a stranglehold of the contest when he had the chance. 6.5/10.
8. Aaron Woods
Two hit-ups in opening set and followed up with hit on Valentine Holmes to force an error got his team on the front foot and he continued to push through the Maroons defence with each charge. Offloads caused the Maroons some issues but came on in the second half with his team on the back foot and couldn't turn it around. 7/10.
9. Nathan Peats
Poor option on last tackle early in the piece but set an aggressive early tone defensively in the Blues' middle third. Made 56 tackles, double the next best for the Blues and was courageous with every one of them. 7.5/10.
10. Andrew Fifita
Was a marked man from the outset but drew enough attention and caused enough havoc to allow the likes of Woods and Jackson to make inroads. Four offloads kept the Maroons honest but by and large they handled what the big guy threw at them. 6.5/10.
11. Boyd Cordner
The skipper tried to inspire his troops by spearing in behind the ruck with each run and battled on although he appeared to be injured late in the game. 6.5/10.
12. Josh Jackson
Poked nose through twice early to get on front foot and worked tirelessly and extremely effectively for his 34-minute first half stint. Pound-for-pound must be close to the most effective forward in the NRL today. 8/10.
13. Tyson Frizell
Got at Thurston early with customary charge and forced the great man to wince in pain late in the first half. Replaced after 56 minutes and didn't return. 6/10.
14. David Klemmer
Took on the responsibility of carrying on the work of the starting props and ran with it. Hard. Topped the Blues metre count with 173m from 16 carries. 7.5/10.
15. Wade Graham
Rushing out on Josh McGuire early in the second half allowed Queensland to get back within four. Kicking game was a handy option on the Blues' left but careless penalty for a strip on Napa invited Queensland to attack again five minutes from time. 5.5/10.
16. Jake Trbojevic
Turned the game on its head with a strong first carry and then two tackles later a superb inside pass for Tedesco in the lead-up to Pearce's try. Stunning try-saver on Cronk in the final minute of the first half. Destined to be a Blues Origin great. 8/10.
17. Jack Bird
Only given 19 minutes as Queensland surged in the second half and had little influence on the result. 5/10.