Tom Dunstan's face may have been left cut and bloodied after Saturday's New Holland Agriculture Cup clash at Apex Oval, but when the Mudgee captain started talking about his side's scrum it split into a grin.
"We always enjoy our scrum," Dunstan laughed.
It showed on Saturday too, the Wombats producing a dominant showing in the forwards and at the set piece on the way to running out 40-5 winners over the Dubbo Rhinos.
Speaking in front of his club's sponsors' day crowd, Rhinos captain Matt Neill was left to lament his side's most disappointing performance of the season while Dunstan was thrilled to see his team cement third spot on the ladder and start to really show what it's capable of.
The Wombats ran in six-tries-to-one in the bonus point victory, one which keeps them hot on the heels of competition leaders Bathurst CSU and Narromine.
"We've got to keep building," Dunstan said after the win.
"If we can keep doing that then we'll keep putting points on the board and hopefully more wins.
"We've always had a high expectation of what we can do and we're starting to get where we want to be."
The Mudgee pack barely allowed the Rhinos into the game, controlling proceedings throughout and winning the ball back from the bulk of the host's lineouts and scrums as well.
Stealing the ball led to the first try on eight minutes, Alex Saint barging over, and the visitors maintained that control and went on to lead 21-0 at the break.
The Rhinos hit back through a leaping Dale Smith in the second half, but that was a lone highlight in a frustrating 40 minutes for the men in black and gold.
"It's probably the most disappointing game of the year, if I'm honest," Neill said.
"They're probably a team we can beat so it makes it a bit tough. That one hurts."
While the final result left Neill and his teammates dejected, the captain admitted there was little his side could do against such a powerful Mudgee forward pack.
"You've got to credit to their scrum. It's incredibly strong," he said.
"We could hardly win our our scrum against them. It was very strong.
"Our set piece at lineout was off and didn't work today. We put today down to our forwards not setting a good platform for the backs."
The Rhinos backline barely for a sniff of the ball, with diminutive flyhalf Jayden Powell under immense pressure almost every time he did touch the ball.
After Saint muscled across for the Wombats' first early on, Scott Hedrick ran through a yawning gap on 20 minutes to extend the lead.
There was a lack of flowing rugby as both sides battled handling errors but the Wombats got things right again before half-time, scoring through centre Matt Kurtz and Tom Purcell's boot was good again to make it a 21-0 lead.
The second half began perfectly for the visitors, a Rhinos error gifting them the ball and it wasn't long before Pat Butterworth burrowed across out wide.
Any away win in this competition is massive.Mudgee captain Tom Dunstan
With 20 minutes to go the Rhinos scored their lone try for the day, but it was an eye-catching one.
Winger Dale Smith, one of few consistent performers this season, leapt above his opposite winger to haul in a cross-field kick on the way to scoring.
The good times didn't last long though, as Chris Sellings was yellow carded for repeat infringements soon after and a penalty try and further five-pointer to barnstorming fullback Lachlan Hobson iced Mudgee's win late on.
Hobson was strong all game while veteran Dave Jessiman, Saint, and Purcell were other key contributors.
"Any away win in this competition is massive," Dunstan said.
"We work really hard and we've really been working on getting on the front foot and on our discipline a lot and that definitely showed today.
"Today we put an 80 minute effort in where last week we just had the first half. Now we're excited for next week."
- MUDGEE WOMBATS 40 (Alex Saint, Scott Hedrick, Matt Kurtz, Pat Butterworth, Lachlan Hobson tries, penalty try; Tom Purcell 4 conversions) defeated DUBBO RHINOS 5 (Dale Smith try)