IT'S an over used cliche in sport, but rugby union was the winner on Saturday when the Bathurst Bulldogs took on the Dubbo Kangaroos in the opening round of the Westfund Ferguson Cup.
While the 47-0 score line pointed to a dominant day for two-time defending premiers the Bulldogs, what unfolded at No 1 Oval was still beneficial for the Dubbo side.
The Roos were only able to muster six players for the fixture, so Bulldogs loaned them a body and switched to a sevens format for the first 20 minutes.
After that, Bulldogs made another sporting gesture.
They opted to leave the official score as it stood after those 20 minutes, then offered Dubbo more players and squared off in a 10-on-10 format for the remainder of the time.
Bulldogs captain Melissa Waterford said that made the contest more beneficial than if her side had racked up a huge score.
"No-one is going to benefit if we go out there do that, they're already struggling for numbers and you're not going to attract people to come and play, they're going to think it's a horrible game to play," she said.
"That means you're going to lose a team out of the comp, then we're going to lose in the long run.
"We thought it would be much better for Dubbo, who are struggling for numbers, to try and develop and made it a fair split of our players to them to try and make the second 20 a bit more competitive.
They've definitely got a team to build on if they can recruit a few more numbers and get a bit more training under their belt.Bathurst's Melissa Waterford on Dubbo Kangaroos
"It was really good for Dubbo as they came out of the game really positive, but also for our girls, they came out with a positive because it gave them a bit more structure to play against."
While the numbers weren't ideal for the Roos, there was still talent on show with the experienced Kimberly Fyfe leading the way while younger players also took their chance.
"One of their girls (Fyfe) is actually a Central West player and they had one of their girls who was a really good little back. If she can get some go forward from her forwards, she will establish herself throughout the year," Waterford added.
"They've definitely got a team to build on if they can recruit a few more numbers and get a bit more training under their belt."
The Roos take on West Wyalong next week while Dubbo Rhinos, after a round one bye, meet Wellington.