In another time and place Michelle Loveridge and Kathy Kelly may have exchanged a smile across a suburban football field - one on her way to watch the future stars of the Parramatta Eels, the other a game of school rugby.
But on Friday they sat in the NSW Supreme Court on opposite sides of an horrific, senseless act and cried for the lost futures of their young sons.
The loss for Kathy Kelly was, of course, much greater.
Her ''beautiful boy'' Thomas, 18, was killed by a single blow from Loveridge as he walked past the famous Coca-Cola sign at the top of the Kings Cross nightclub precinct on the way to a birthday party.
Kieran Loveridge, 19, fuelled by bravado and 20 standard drinks, attacked the accounting cadet completely without provocation, sending him crashing to the ground.
''On the very same day he was due to get his green P plates, he had a piece of his skull removed,'' Mrs Kelly told the court, as Michelle Loveridge cried quietly and her son wept in the dock.
''All of us have been robbed - not only us left behind but also Thomas. He didn't deserve to die, his brother and sister didn't deserve to lose their older brother, and Ralph and I didn't deserve the life sentence that we have been given.''
She spoke of a ''city where there's no longer respect or decency towards others'' and a ''justice system that's crying out for sentences that make people accountable for what they've done''.
Mrs Kelly was reading from one of eight victim impact statements tendered during Loveridge's sentencing hearing for the manslaughter of Thomas Kelly and four other assaults he carried out on the same night.
But for the first time the court also heard about Loveridge's background.
In an unusual step, Justice Campbell ordered that all of the defence's written submissions be read in open court, including the statement of his mother and the psychologist charged with assessing his intelligence, mental state and remorse.
Loveridge's life was effectively laid bare before the court, from his father's incarceration and subsequent use of a bamboo cane as a punishment tool, to the teenager's brief stint as a contracted junior with the Parramatta Eels and work as an apprentice carpet layer.
''The attack can probably be seen as being the result of the impact of alcohol on a young and not very thoughtful young man, who has perhaps been exposed to violence by his peer group,'' psychologist Richard Champion said of Loveridge.
Loveridge reportedly expressed remorse to Dr Champion, telling him: ''It's hard … someone has died you know?
''When I see things on the TV about Thomas Kelly I feel bad, I feel sorry for the family. He did nothing wrong. My stupidity caused him to lose his life.''
Michelle Loveridge, who spent much of the hearing slumped against a male companion, said she ''screamed'' when she heard her son had been arrested over Thomas' death.
''My heart broke in two,'' she said in a statement read to the court. ''I know he has done bad things but I love him.
''He has told me that he will never drink again and I will support him.''
Justice Stephen Campbell will sentence Loveridge on November 8.