THE Bathurst Bulldogs women have not lost to Orange Emus in the Ferguson Cup this season and that is exactly the way they aim to keep it this Saturday when doing battle once more.
But unlike their meetings earlier this season, which Bulldogs won 55-14 and 27-12, this time the contest carries with it the pressure of a minor semi-final.
It means the Bulldogs are steeling themselves for a tough contest at Endeavour Oval and know they will need to produce some quality rugby to stay in title contention.
“We are not going to go into this game thinking it is going to be an easy one. Every time we play Emus they always put a challenge on for us,” injured Bulldogs skipper Mandy Scott said.
“The hardest part is that they are an all-round side. They’ve bought in some new players this year that are lethal in the back line and their forwards are bloody strong.
“They like to play it in the forwards and that is what we are hoping they do this weekend so we can capitalise where we need to.
“Everyone has got to turn up with their game face on.”
Last Saturday both Emus and Bulldogs had to survive a sudden-death qualifying final in order to advance to the semis.
Emus had to work hard to beat Cowra 26-22 while a hat-trick of tries from scrumhalf Nicole Schneider helped Bulldogs down Temora 29-7.
“It was a pretty tough game, the first quarter no points scored, so that was quite nail-biting,” Scott said.
“But then everyone just clicked and we got the win.”
While Scott has been named on the bench to make her return from injury this Saturday, the experienced halfback said she is not intending to play.
She wants to give herself the chance to further improve her fitness and is trusting that her team-mates can survive a second week of sudden-death rugby.
“These ladies have got it without me anyway, I’ve got full faith in them, they’ll be fine,” she said.
“The quality of their rugby last weekend was second to none and if they play like that this weekend, it will be a very interesting game.”
Kick-off on Saturday at Orange’s Endeavour Oval is at 12.40pm.