ON Sunday night it was the Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai show for New South Wales, but on Friday night it was a Jack Branda and Sam Clarke magic show for the Saints.
The talented young playmakers put on a masterclass at Jack Arrow Oval to help the under 16 Saints to a 22-4 win over Bathurst Panthers.
Both five-eighth Branda and halfback Clarke scored in the first half then had a hand in each of the three tries the Saints scored after the break.
The effort from the halves was critical in holding off a Panthers side which showed plenty of determination and fight.
While Panthers had lost the first meeting between the two sides in round three 50-0, on Friday night they only trailed by six at the break.
It was a first half that was played with plenty of intensity and while the dewy conditions tested the Bathurst rivals, there was still some quality football.
The Saints were the first to score in third minute after being marched down field thanks to consecutive penalties.
Clarke then sliced straight through Panthers' defence to make it 4-0.
For the next five minutes the Saints dominated possession and it all came inside Panthers' half.
But the boys in black stood firm in defence and then began to apply their own pressure.
Hard charging forward Dayne Fallon was held up over the line, but seven minutes out from the break Panthers had the equaliser.
It came via halfback Josh Babbage, who dived over from dummy half.
It was a try that fired up Panthers and gave them hope of upsetting the third-placed Saints, but Clarke and Branda had other ideas.
When Panthers knocked on from the kick-off following Babbage's try, it gave the Saints good field position.
Then with a combination of speed and vision, as well as some handy footwork, Branda split Panthers' right-edge defence open.
Mac Hutchings booted the sideline conversion to make it 10-4 in favour of the Saints at the break.
Six minutes after play resumed Branda was at it again, beating several defenders before getting an offload away.
The ball was then quickly spread through five sets of hands to see Hayden Selman over in the right corner.
Clarke turned creator for Pat's six minutes later as he took on Panthers' line, palmed off a would-be tackler then put Grayson Rozga over.
That made it 18-4, but the Saints had another trick left.
In the final play of the match Branda deftly chipped Panthers' defence, with Cameron Sargent then chasing through to gather the ball and score.
The 22-4 win elevated the Saints into second on the ladder and while Panthers were unable to spring an upset, the endeavour they showed indicates a victory is not far away for them.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.