After 192 NRL games and 10 months of training and sacrifice, the finals have arrived - and they will certainly start with a bang this weekend.
The NRL couldn't have wished for a better marketing weekend than having Des Hasler go up against his old club and Michael Maguire going head-to-head with his mentor, Craig Bellamy.
As even as the finals will be over the next four weeks, I just can't see any side outside the top four winning the 2012 title.
So that leaves the premiers to come from either Manly, Melbourne, Canterbury or Souths.
Who would have thought Hasler would come up against Manly in week one of the finals?
It was be a match of intense feeling and rivalry.
They may not admit it publicly but this match will mean the world to Hasler and Manly coach Geoff Toovey.
Hasler taught Toovey the ropes at Brookvale, the pupil now ready to show-up the teacher.
I think Hasler has done an extraordinary job at Belmore, the club sealing their first minor premiership since 1994.
Manly and Canterbury have met twice this year - and the score is one-all.
Hasler knows Toovey, Toovey knows Hasler.
This match will be a sensational way for the NRL to kick-off its finals series.
And what about Maguire and Bellamy going head-to head?
Maguire learned the coaching caper under Bellamy at Melbourne. The pair has so many similar traits.
Bellamy knows Maguire, Maguire knows Bellamy.
It will be an intriguing match-up on and off the field. Tactically, it will be battle of cunning.
As strong as they have been so far this season, I think Souths and Canterbury are still a shade behind Manly and Melbourne.
The Sea Eagles and Storm have built-up a healthy rivalry over the years and this could be their third grand final in six seasons.
Both teams have the necessary quality in key positions.
North Queensland are a team in the lower tier that could do some damage.
They have two exceptional props in Matt Scott and James Tamou and two form centres in Kane Linnett and Brent Tate.
And we can't forget the Cowboys' 'go-to' men - Johnathan Thurston and Matt Bowen.
In the games I have watched this year, North Queensland seem to now get into the grind, unlike previous seasons.
Bowen and Thurston give them the polish.
The Cowboys are a dangerous side and aren't one I would like to meet in September. I still don't think they can win the title though.
Canberra is the other 'smokey' in the bottom half that could do some real damage.This weekend for me though will be about the coaches - Hasler, Toovey, Maguire and Bellamy.
Let's see how much the apprentices have learned off their masters.