KEEPING lines of communication open, attacking as a unit, blitzing the enemy with speed - no, it's not military plan, that's how the Bathurst Bulldogs aim to take down Ferguson Cup rivals the Dubbo Roolettes.
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For the past two seasons in the women's competition, the battles between the Bulldogs and Roolettes have been a highlight.
The Roos have enjoyed successes, but the Bulldogs have claimed the premierships.
This year the Dubbo side sits undefeated on top of the ladder, having drawn 8-all with the Bulldogs in round two and defeated the Bathurst outfit 22-5 in round seven.
So how do Bulldogs inflict defeat upon in-form Roolettes? Captain Mel Waterford says her side needs to be the one that best executes at Ashwood Park this Saturday.
"With Dubbo, you've just got to be on your best game on the day. Dubbo is such a quality opposition and they play well one to 15, I think when we've beaten them and when they've beaten us it's been about who is the dominant team on the day," she said.
"That's what I think it will come down to, who can execute their game plan best on the day."
The Bulldogs' game plan is simple - communicate, line speed, work to their strengths.
"We have to make sure we're communicating well in our defensive line to minimise the effect they can have," Waterford said.
"If our line is well connected there's no gaps for them to get through. If we stay tight in the middle and get up early in defence it minimises what they can do it attack, it takes their space away.
"They're a really good attacking team, so if we can just increase our line speed in attack and defence, we can put our best foot forward.
"Our strength is in the middle ... we've worked on the mindset that you've got to work to earn the right to go forward before you get the right to go wide."
All Ferguson Cup sides sat last Saturday out with a general bye, but knowing the quality of the Roolettes, the Bulldogs did not ease off.
It was a big pack of Bulldogs working hard in preparation too.
"The week we had off we trained, we did a lot of running and fitness just because we know Dubbo is going to be a very tough game," Waterford said.
"We've got really good numbers going into the weekend, we actually have 25 players available.
"We're lucky to have all our players fit and available coming towards the end of the season because the games are getting tougher, it's good to have a lot of impact players coming off the bench."
While Saturday's match will play a key role in determining the minor premiership - if the Roolettes win they will likely finish on top - Waterford says that is not a focus for Bulldogs.
"Our end goal is always that we want to be in the grand final and we'd love to win," she said.
"We respect our opposition every week and we're looking at it game to game. This week we're worried about beating Dubbo because that's a goal we set ourselves, then we'll look at our next opposition. We tend not to look at minor premiership and things like that.
"If you do that you can get caught up in the hype of it all and lose focus on the games you've got to play."
Kick-off on Saturday at Ashwood Park is at 11.45am.
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