State vs State! Mate vs Mate! The absolute biggest, most heated, ridiculously serious rivalry in the very history of the entire world!
The tag-lines may be a little silly but the rivalry and hype is very real. NSW vs QLD for the Shield and bragging rights.
In the past two weeks we've seen players withdraw through injury, players miss out through suspension and of course moving the contest 2,500km north.
After an unprecedented scramble to secure a host city, and state, following the MCG's withdrawal due to Covid restrictions, the NRL finally settled on Townsville host for Game One.
Yes, after NSW forfeited their home game to Melbourne, Queensland now enjoy two home games across the series. You better believe that caused some discussion within those south of the Tweed.
The usual QLD "illness" pre-game aside, the teams have FINALLY settled, and we're now just one sleep away from kick off.
So who wins and why? Find out in our preview below:
Lessons learned from last year
Last year it was a foregone conclusion that the Blues would win the Series 3-0 with relative ease. Except it absolutely didn't happen that way and ultimately the Maroons recaptured the cherished Shield.
The Blues need to learn lessons from last year and it looks as though they have. Brad Fittler has to take some blame for last year's result due to his out of form and position selections.
Fittler's gone with form rather than name value and although he's selected two fullbacks at centre, we're talking the former best centre in the game and Tommy Turbo here.
The Maroons are just as likely to win a game and series whether as $1.05 favourites or massive outsiders, it just simply doesn't matter to them.
The Blues need to approach this game as if their lives depend on it because that's exactly what QLD will do.
Will NSW's youngsters be overawed?
Fittler opting for form has named a host of players on debut. Brian To'o is likely to be put under pressure via a high ball very early on while Jarome Luai will be in the hot seat from the kick off.
You know what you're going to get from QLD's experienced halves but Luai shapes as the X-factor here. If he handles the pressure and brings his club form into the Origin arena then it goes a long way towards a NSW win. If not, then it could be trouble.
To'o will be tasked with bringing the ball out of the Blues danger zone early and often. If he can rack up 50/60 easy metres early then he's going to be hard to stop. If the Maroons can pin him down and force an error early then the Blues have a weapon blunted.
Liam Martin is an absolute monster off the bench and seems made for Origin but he has an error in his game. His discipline will need to be spot on to not gift QLD field position.
Watch a full Origin preview via Rugby League Outlaws
Will the crack down effect the result
No. Not even in the slightest.
How much are QLD foxing?
Same old QLD, always foxing.
Cam Munster won't enter the game 100% is the line we're being told. QLD have 'RUSHED' Ben Hunt into camp as cover for Harry Grant due to fitness concerns.
Dane Gagai is sick and in doubt, while the story is already that Ponga will miss Origin Two.
The expected 90% home town crowd which can only be an advantage? Not so for the Maroons who are claiming it will heap pressure on.
The masters of mind games are at it again.
How much of it is true though? Munster and Grant have been sighted for a few weeks. Will they actually not be at 100%?
Nathan Cleary vs Daly Cherry Evans
The NRL has become the Nathan Cleary show in the past year and a bit. Since he debut for Penrith he has been earmarked as the next superstar of the game and I think it's fair to say he's justified the hype.
He's yet to deliver that match-winning performance for the Blues. In 2018's Series victory it was James Maloney who was the main man in Sky Blue, while it was Mitchell Pearce who lead the Roaches to victory in Game Three in 2019.
This is Cleary's year. For good or for bad. If he can't take the Blues to a series victory as the form player of the competition and with his club halves partner, then it will certainly mark his legacy. Just ask Mitchell Pearce.
His opposite is one of the coolest men in Rugby League in D C E! Cherry Evans has literally done it all and with a smile.
Both have expert kicking games. Both have expert running games. Both enjoy brilliant combinations with their partner and both are in good form.
The winner of this straight duel is going to be oh so important to their side's chances.
Shockingly it may come down to who defends better because you know both sides are going to send plenty of traffic at their opposing number seven.
Everything is pointing to a NSW victory in Game One tomorrow night.
The Blues have the majority of form players, including the Dally M-elect Nathan Cleary.
They have the veteran coach who has multiple Series victories under his belt. Meanwhile the Maroons have a rookie coach at this level who is struggling to put a side together.
Blues by 10-12 right?
Except I've seen this one before!!!
Cam Munster is the best Origin performer of the modern era and cheered on by a massive, loud home crowd, he'll be man of the match in yet another Maroons underdog win against all odds.
Maroons by 4.