1. '''Matt Bowen deserves a crack at the Queensland full-back spot.'''
With Billy Slater all but certain to miss the State of Origin decider, the debate has begun as to who should fill the Maroons No.1 jersey. While Bulldogs livewire Ben Barba, superstar Greg Inglis and Darius Boyd are all viable options, the North Queensland excitement machine has showed he deserves the spot despite being on the wrong side of 30 and not having played Origin in five years. The inclusion of Barba to make his Queensland debut could be a big risk in such an important game while shifting Inglis or Boyd will force Maroons coach Mal Meninga into a backline reshuffle. Bowen's selection would mean the least disruption for Queensland as well as allow him to continue a thriving combination with Johnathan Thurston, which came to the fore again in the win over the Broncos on Friday night.2. '''There was never any rift between Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall.'''
The Wests Tigers' early season struggles saw rumours that their two stars Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah didn't get along resurface but scenes before yesterday's game with the Roosters should finally dispel those claims. To see the Tigers no.6 openly crying during the minute's silence following the sad passing of Farah's mother Sonia on Sunday after a long cancer battle was one of the most touching moments of the season so far. While the Tigers lost to end their seven-game winning streak, the result was insignificant due to the sad event that struck the tight-knit club before in the hours before kick-off.3. '''The top eight sides are almost certainly decided.'''
It might be just past the halfway stage of the season but it's almost safe to say the current top eight teams will play finals football. After the weekend's results a four-point gap has opened up between the team in eighth spot and the ninth-placed Warriors. While there are still 11 rounds to go and the New Zealanders and in-form Gold Coast have shown they are capable of stringing a number of wins together, it's hard to see any of the sides above them dropping enough games to fall out of the top eight.4. '''Something needs to be done to the State of Origin eligibility rules.'''
Reports over the weekend Canterbury powerhouse and New Zealand-born prop Sam Kasiano is set to be picked in the Queensland team for the Origin decider has re-enforced the need for a clearer selection criteria for the showpiece event. Kasiano, who signed a letter of intent to play for the Kiwis just two months ago, only moved to Queensland when he was 16 and lived and played there for just over two years. But just as James Tamou has done with NSW, the lure of playing Origin and the big-money on offer for the series likes like it might sway the 21-year-old to change his allegiance to Australia. We're all for the best players playing in the biggest games but there needs to be a clearer policy on the selection criteria.5. '''Mitchell Pearce is in the zone.'''
It's been some week for the 23-year-old who helped NSW keep the State of Origin series alive, hooked up with a Playboy playmate before guiding the Roosters to a season-saving win over the Wests Tigers on Sunday. Pearce has had to defend himself against allegations he broke Blues team protocol by bringing American covergirl Ciara Price back to the team's hotel three days before the clash with the Maroons, a suggestion he vehemently denies. Whether it's true or not, it hasn't affected the classy no.7's form. Whatever Pearce is doing, he should continue it for the sake of both the Roosters and NSW.