It's the top-of-the-table clash with more than top spot at stake.
At least 11 players from both St George Illawarra and Penrith are considered in contention for State of Origin jumpers when first meets second at Panthers Stadium on Saturday.
Some, such as Dragons pair Tyson Frizell and Ben Hunt, are believed to be certainties.
Others, such as Penrith trio Nathan Cleary, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Tyrone Peachey, and Dragons quintet Euan Aitken, Cameron McInnes, Paul Vaughan, Tariq Sims and Jack de Belin, are on the cusp.
Then there's incumbent Blues five-eighth James Maloney, whose grip on the No.6 jumper is loosening after NSW coach Brad Fittler publicly questioned the veteran's defence this year.
Fittler went on to declare Saturday's blockbuster as a final Origin audition, however Panthers coach Anthony Griffin is confident the players won't be distracted by the individual goals.
"It's hard for them, but I think we've had a pretty good week at training. I know all our guys are focused, as theirs will be," Griffin said on Friday.
"It's what they do out there on Saturday night that'll determine some of their Origin chances. I think the game will always come first in their mind and we'll find out what happens after that.
"They're all good, level-headed guys. The reason they're in contention is the job they've been doing. They've been playing very well and I haven't seen any reason why that'd change this Saturday."
Only 1200 tickets remain available for a clash Griffin believes is his team's biggest test of the season, particularly in the forwards.
With the exception of front-rower James Graham, the Dragons' entire starting pack is jostling for Blues selection against Penrith's lone NSW hopeful in Campbell-Gillard.
Griffin confirmed his front-rower would start after playing the past five weeks with severe tooth pain.
"Our forwards have done a great job and this will be their biggest test, I'd imagine. The St George pack, they're a very big, mobile pack and they've done a great job," Griffin said.
"That's why they're leading the competition. They've given their halves a real platform to play off. Our guys are going along really well and they'll get their chance to have a real forward battle there."
STATS THAT MATTER
* The only time St George Illawarra have met second when coming first was against the Panthers in 2010, when they lost 12-8 in Mark Gasnier's first match back from rugby union.
* The Dragons are looking for six straight wins over Penrith for just the second time in their history.
* The Panthers have won 11 of their past 12 matches at Panthers Stadium, including all five this year.