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A huge week for rugby league in Mel­bourne sees Ori­gin II chased by Mel­bourne vs Bris­bane (Jun 21) at AAMI, which could be a state­ment game for a pair of fi­nals con­tenders, with a good chunk of the Queens­land side run­ning around. Or it could be an ex­er­cise in rep sea­son patch­work by Messrs Bel­lamy and Benne•. The only full week­end slate this month, round 16, is head­lined by South Syd­ney vs Manly (Jun 26) at ANZ. This is all pre­lude, of course, to State of Ori­gin III (Jul 8) at Sun­corp, where we’ll have again re­solved one of sport’s most vex­ing ques­tions: out of Mal Meninga and Lau­rie Da­ley, which one is a ge­nius? In­ter­state fri­vol­ity over, we’re back into NRL ac­tion with a fun one: Gold Coast vs Manly (Jul 13) at Cbus, where Daly Cherry-Evans will get a look at his (pos­si­ble) new digs for next sea­son.

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