A scintillating first half display from Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses has led Holy Cross College to a 48-16 victory over Illawarra Sports High in the GIO Schoolboys Cup.
The combination between the half and fullback was evident in the opening 25 minutes with Holy Cross racing to a 30-0 lead at half time, with Brooks and Moses both ending the match with two tries each.
Not to be outdone, hooker Bradley Deitz gave the combination an extra dimension out of dummy half, and the trio resembled the Cronk-Slater-Smith partnership which has been successful for so long in Melbourne.
It was Deitz who opened the scoring for Holy Cross in just the 4th minute as he jumped out of acting half and powered his way across in the south-eastern corner of WIN Stadium.
Just two minutes later and Brooks crabbed across field before finding his captain Moses who ran 30 metres down the touchline to score untouched.
The combination of Moses and Brooks played a part in the four other tries in the first half, and coach Tim White says the pair are instrumental to the team’s chances of progressing further in the tournament.
“It’s as good as any combination in an NRL team but the other thing is the other boys need to work around them so they’re part of it but only one piece in the puzzle,” said White.
“We just have to keep playing hard and injuries prevailing we’ll be thereabouts again.
“We still have to win one more game, we have mountains to climb and then we’ll see how we go.
Luke Brooks, who was awarded man of the match honours, was being kept a close eye on in the grandstand with both Andrew Johns and Brad Fittler keen on-lookers.
The Balmain junior says it was an honour being watched by two of his heroes growing up.
“I looked up to them [Fittler and Johns] when I was younger so it was good to have them here watching,” said the halfback, who finished with 20 points for the match.
On the topic of his combination with Mitchell Moses, Brooks says being able to go to school and play SG Ball for Balmain together has helped both their abilities on the park.
“It’s good because we train together, go to school together so we’re practically with each other all the time so it creates a good combination out on the field.
Whilst Holy Cross was impressive in the first half, they took their foot off the pedal after the break with Illawarra Sports High fullback Jackson Hastings leading a mini revival.
He single handedly brought his school back within three converted tries before Holy Cross clicked into gear again to run away with the win.
Tim White says the second half display leaves the team with more improvement ahead of their next group stage match against Westfields Sports High.
“They just lacked a bit of concentration in critical times and that that happens because they’re boys, but they just have to maintain discipline and kick long and see what happens.
“I was happy with the defence early, I wasn’t happy with the defence in the second half but I was happy with the spirit and enthusiasm of the boys and that’s the key factor of the win.”
Holy Cross College 48 (Brooks 2, Moses 2, Moana 2, Camroux, Milone, Deitz tries; Brooks 6/9 goals) defeated Illawarra Sports High 16 (Hastings, Clune, Tom tries; Hastings 2/3 goals)