THE future of the NRL is in safe hands if the Junior Kangaroos performance at WIN Stadium on Friday afternoon is anything to go by.
The Australian Under 23 squad, featuring Gerringong's Reuben Garrick, produced a dominant performance to claim a thumping 62-4 victory over the French senior side.
The French were understrength, with many of their stars opting to miss the tour, however the cream of the NRL's emerging crop were far too good in running in 12 tries to one.
The match was the first played by the rebranded Junior Kangaroos setup, with the team shifting from an under 20 to under 23 side.
That shift allowed some of the NRL's brightest stars to line up in the green and gold, with the likes of Kalyn Ponga, David Fifita and Victor Radley starring.
St George Illawarra centre Zac Lomax was among the stars to have a solid showing and he said it was great to share the field with so many talented players.
"It's good for the boys coming through the Australian system," Lomax said.
"Mal's got a good system in place.
"To be among the likes of some of these players, the calibre of players that are around, you can take a lot of confidence out of it.
"It's a lifelong dream to be able to play with people like this and share such a week and learn so much from every individual."
The match started with Lomax booting the opening kickoff dead on the full, however that was where the highlights ended for the visitors.
It took just two minutes for the Junior Kangaroos to cross, with Brian Kelly on the end of a Ponga short ball.
That four-pointer was the first of eight scored in the first half, with the Junior Kangaroos in complete control.
Lomax crossed for two in the opening 40, the second coming after a piece of Ryan Papenhuyzen and Angus Crichton brilliance.
Papenhuyzen was impressive throughout the first half, the Melbourne Storm fullback scoring two tries and playing a key role sparking the Australian attack.
After seeing his Dragons season end way back on September 1, Lomax said it was great to return to the field.
"It's been a couple of months since I played and the last time I got pretty heavily concussed. To go out there and blow the cobwebs out and play in such a classy team is unreal.
"It was good to get such a convincing win and to play back at home as well."
The start of the second half saw Junior Kangaroos pick up where they left off, with Campbell Graham scoring two inside the first 10 minutes of the period.
With the result well beyond doubt, the match entered a bit of a holding pattern and the Australians dropped off the boil slightly.
Eventually the French hit back, with Mathieu Jussaume darting over from dummy half.
The French came close to adding a second try, however the Australians held firm and eventually hit back through Campbell Graham, who completed his hat-trick in the 71st minute.
That was where the scoring would end, with the Australians finishing dominant victors.