A PILFER, a try assist, strong carries in attack, hard work in defence - it might have been a typical game for Marita Shoulders, but Saturday was still extra special for her.
It marked Shoulders' 50th appearance as a Bathurst Bulldog and her team-mates made sure she got to celebrate it in style at Ashwood Park.
They ran in six tries for a 42-0 Ferguson Cup win over the Forbes Platypi.
"It did make me feel old, some people might think it was my 50th birthday, but it's not," Shoulders chuckled.
"But it's been good, especially considering there's been an ACL injury and being a shift worker, it took awhile to get there [50 games]."
When Shoulders got her first taste of Central West Rugby Union it was prior to the Ferguson Cup and as a Mudgee Wombat.
But since making the switch to Bulldogs she has become an integral part of their run of five consecutive premierships.
She's won club awards, played for Central West, NSW Country and the Australian Police side, while she's snagged best on ground in a grand final more than once.
Before Shoulders was congratulated for her milestone - a host of spectators making sure to shake her hand after the win - Bulldogs were make to work hard against Forbes.
Though the final score points to an easy win for Bulldogs, Forbes' physical presence on the field was clear to see.
"They always come out strong, I can remember a couple of seasons ago they upset us and beat us here, so they're always tough," Shoulders said.
"We just had to rally a bit together, you could see it took us a little bit to get there, but it all just clicked.
"We had to earn the right to go forward today."
The opening five minutes of Saturday's match saw Forbes camped inside Bulldogs' 22, Emma Evans in particular working to inspire the visitors.
But Bulldogs absorbed that pressure and their first venture into Forbes' defensive zone resulted in a try to Annie Craig.
That try lifted Bulldogs and from there the hosts better controlled possession. They built through the middle with strong work from the forwards - the tight five in particular impressing - before unleashing their back line.
Forbes toiled in defence to try and hold them out - fullback Ella MacGregor at one stage making a superb one-on-one tackle to deny Jacinta Windsor - but 63 seconds out from half-time Bulldogs crossed again.
This time it was Lily McIntosh who scored, muscling her way over the line following a Bulldogs scrum.
Sarah Colman converted to make it 14-0 at the break.
The second half brought with it more of the same, Bulldogs building pressure as the likes of Waterford and Fenton made the hard yards.
After seven minutes that pressure led to more points, a sweeping back line play after a Waterford charge seeing Poorsha McPhillamy over in the right corner.
Colman was the next to cross as a string of passes from Waterford, Molly Kennedy and Paris Campion created space on the left edge.
Then from the following kick-off came a highlight for 50-gamer Shoulders as she burst through Forbes' defensive line.
She was tackled but she had her rivals scrambling in defence. A quick clean out from Craig put Windsor into space and she raced away to score.
"I didn't know who was outside me, I could hear 'Left, left', I just thought I had to take the fullback out of play then they could do what they wanted," Shoulders said.
The win was iced three minutes before full-time, Demi Chapman winning the race to the ball after Teagan Miller had chipped the Forbes defence.
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