THE NSW Origin halves against two champions in the making. Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney vs Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran could decide the winner of tonight's NRL grand final.
While Pearce and Maloney are the incumbent Blues playmakers, Cherry-Evans and Foran are mentored by the greatest NSW halfback of all time in Andrew Johns.
These four playmakers have constituted the two best halves combinations this season. But after this weekend, there can only be one. Who will lead their team to glory?
The Manly duo has a slight advantage after playing alongside each other for three seasons now and having already claimed a premiership together.
But the new kids on the block, Maloney and Pearce, will not shy away from the challenge. This season alone they have led their star-studded Roosters to a minor premiership as well as piloting NSW to within inches of a State of Origin title.
So, let's have a look at what could decide this game. The Roosters halves have scored 14 tries to the Manly halves' 12. Eleven of Manly's tries have come from Daly Cherry-Evans, who is dynamic close to the line and supports terrifically.
The Roosters halves grossly outrank Manly's when it comes to line-breaks and line-break assists this year. However, both have similar try assist records, with 48 to the Roosters pairing and 43 to the Manly boys.
This illustrates two things. Foran is not as dominant a runner as Maloney, and the Manly halves are much better at finding points through kicks.
They are also much better at applying pressure to sides, with Evans and Foran forcing 21 more dropouts than their opposition halves this season.
Another alarming thing for the Roosters is that their No.6 and No.7 have missed 34 more tackles this season, the majority through Maloney.
So expect to see DCE send a lot of traffic his way this Sunday. However, the two whiz kids weren't able to crack the Chooks last time they met in a torrid 4-0 week-one finals win to the Tri-colours.