Just like a cat, this game has nine lives. Australia's best v England's best. That's where it will be won.
At the base of the wrestle, I mean ruck. Where the two dummy halves are doing things by much more than halves. And taking the pressure off their halves in the process.
Cameron Smith v Josh Hodgson. Ben Elias is licking his lips. He's in dummy half heaven. Can't wait for Saturday 5.30pm to roll around. Got back from Hawaii in the nick of time.
The Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm. While Hodgson's sick of getting asked about the hooker battle, Elias could talk about it all day.
Who will win between the ladder-leading Storm and the third-placed Raiders? He has no idea. But he knows where it will be won.
"They both serve a purpose to their clubs and their sides and both coaches work on their strengths," Elias said.
"Whoever wins the battle [between the hookers] wins the game.
"And I can't give you the answer [who wins]. Whoever wins that game, that's where it will be won - at the nines.
"Not the sevens, sixes, at the nine. No question. Nine is such a valuable position at the moment.
"There's no surprise the Queensland side haven't won the last two Origin series - because Cameron Smith's not been there.
"If he'd been there the last two years they would've won."
Both players have the same impact on their team. Coaches building the team around them. Ricky Stuart for Hodgson. And his old mate Craig Bellamy for Smith.
Their attacks begin with them. Taking the pressure off the sixes and sevens as the hookers pull the strings.
While he loves Hodgson on the pitch, Elias loves him off it.
Had the chance to meet him a while back. An absolute gentleman. A credit to the game. Not to mention what he brings to the game.
"He's different. He tries things. He's very creative around the rucks which gives your other players so much more pressure off them," Elias said.
"He's strong. He's tough. He owns that No.9 position and he's got that variety now. He's got the small kicking game.
"He's the backbone of the Raiders. He's their strategist. He's their mentor. He's their go-to person and he'd be one of the most-named players if you're playing against them."
Smith? Well what more can you say. Immortal in waiting as the saying goes. But should he be?
Why delay the inevitable. If he's good enough, he's good enough.
"He's going to be an Immortal. Without a doubt. So why don't they make him an Immortal while he's playing?" the former Tigers rake said.
"Give him the deserved respect that everybody continues to voice. Give it to him today. Supersede all the old blokes, who wouldn't do his bootlaces up when you talk about the history, the results, the records.
"He's such a legend. He's such a great player. Recognise it while we can and enjoy it."
Elias remembers his own battles with a Raiders rake. Back in the day. Some 30 years worth of days.
Steve Walters. Raiders hooker. Queensland hooker. Australian hooker. Elias. Balmain Tigers hooker. NSW hooker. Australian hooker.
He laughed about the time a quick-witted Walters told him to go easy because he had to play for Australia the next week.
Says they've even enjoyed a chat together. Doesn't sound like they enjoyed many back then though. When they were rivals for the 1989 premiership, State of Origin and the Australian No.9 jersey.
He'll be catching up with the Balmain boys in the coming weeks. Thirty years on. Tigers big bopper Paul Sironen made the call. Have a beverage and talk about old times.
Elias watched the '89 decider for the first time since that fateful day recently. The day Canberra came of age.
Even he thought, "What a game". And that Steve Jackson try? The one that "ruined" his mate Steve "Blocka" Roach's life. Loved it.
Time heals all wounds. Even ones inflicted by a crossbar that was too high. That stopped an Elias field goal in its tracks.
"It was a bloke from left field, Jackson, who was extraordinary, that scored that try," he said.
"He took five players with him over the line. Five! I've never watched it until that day with Blocka and Siro."
It's pretty easy to tell Elias is a passionate man. Loves life. And loves that quality about another one of his banes from that day 30 years ago. Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.
Even all the way from Balmain, Elias can feel it. Feel Canberra starting to rally behind their team.
The Green Machine. Rolling their way towards September.
"It will be a great game [between the Storm and Raiders]. Last week, seeing all the Raiders fans come out, that's where [Stuart] needs the accolades," Elias said.
"He should be credited for that because he works hard to make sure the community comes together and he understands the best form of marketing is winning.
"And that's what they've done. It's good to see rugby league healthy again down in Canberra. I love his passion."
NRL ROUND 22
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm at Melbourne, 5.30pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Joey Leilua, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson (c), 10. Sia Soliola, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Joe Tapine. Interchange: 14. Bailey Simonsson, 15. Dunamis Lui, 16. Corey Horsburgh, 17. Ryan Sutton. Reserves: 18. Sam Williams, 19. Hudson Young, 20. Siliva Havili, 21. Emre Guler.
Storm squad: 1. Jahrome Hughes, 2. Suliasi Vunivalu, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Brodie Croft, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith (c), 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Kenneath Bromwich, 13. Dale Finucane. Interchange: 14. Tui Kamikamica, 15. Tino Faasuamaleaui, 16. Joe Stimson, 17. Ryan Papenhuyzen. Reserves: 18. Max King, 19. Tom Eisenhuth, 20. Sandor Earl, 21. Billy Walters.