Not since Brad Fittler's playing days has the NRL laid claim to a grand final rematch as highly anticipated as this.
Back then, in 2004, it was Penrith and the Sydney Roosters - first and second respectively after three rounds - renewing the previous year's grand final hostilities.
But come Friday night, Melbourne and the Roosters will be in the exact same positions - only this time it's after five rounds, and a clear gulf is developing between them and the rest of the competition.
It was evident again this weekend.
The Storm had their record-breaking moment when Cameron Smith became the game's top point-scorer against North Queensland and Melbourne waltzed to their fifth straight win, triumphing 18-12.
The Roosters were more impressive, Luke Keary starring as they jumped to a 30-0 lead over Cronulla before letting the deficit fall to 14 late on.
Between them, last year's grand finalists have lost one of their opening 10 games, with the Roosters ranked first for attack and Melbourne second in defence.
"They haven't lost yet this year. It should be a good contest, I don't think they've ever not turned up," Keary said.
"We've got to play our best footy down there. It's been a while since we have won down there too."
Asked if it would be a litmus test for the Roosters, Keary said: "It will be a great test for us.
"You know they are the most consistent team and you test yourself against he best. It will be a good spectacle."
Below them, there are at least signs of change on last year.
Canberra are third after beating Parramatta 19-0 on Sunday night, while the Eels, Wests Tigers and Manly all remain in the top eight after missing last year's finals.
South Sydney are still fourth after beating the Warriors 28-24 on Saturday, while St George Illawarra climbed back into the eight and made a statement in their 40-4 flogging of Canterbury.
Meanwhile Brisbane and Penrith have the biggest causes for concern after playing in last year's finals.
The Broncos suffered a fourth straight loss at the hands of the Tigers to sit 13th, while Penrith became the first team to lose to the Gold Coast this year and remain 11th.
Australian Associated Press