Heading into the Westfund Ferguson Cup grand final on Saturday, there'd have been few people in Wade Park outside the Bathurst Bulldogs' camp - and even some people inside it - who rated the Dogs as no chance.
Coming up against a rampaging Dubbo Roos side which regularly put 60 points on the board and hadn't dropped a game all season, they went toe-for-toe with them and came away 17-12 victors in the upset of the year.
The Roos lost star Lillyann Mason-Spice early in the first quarter to what looked like a nasty knee injury, and despite the efforts of Emily Caton and Alahna Ryan to galvanise the backs, the Dogs proved too strong.
Dubbo led at the first two changes, with Caton scoring the first try and Savannah Dimmock the second, with a Ryan conversion putting the minor premiers up 12-zip.
The challengers refused to bow though.
In the third quarter the Dogs were relentless, keeping the ball inside their 22 line for much of the opening salvo of the game and while the Roos threatened to break through, some massive hits and huge defensive efforts kept them at bay.
Tegan Miller broke through and Daisey Morrisey converted to put the Dogs on the board, and Claudia McLaren levelled the scores.
From there, with minutes on the clock, Brydie Comiskey dove through on the right side and put the underdogs up.
Dogs skipper Ali Stanford said it had been a "bloody tough game".
"We knew we had to switch on and couldn't start with the handbrake on. We had to go out there and play rugby and play it quick," she said.
"We couldn't start on the back foot because we knew they'd pump us.
"Credit to the Dubbo girls, they've got some muscle, they've got a great team and a great structure and are a great bunch of girls."
She said even after Comiskey dove over to put the side up, there was never a stage she felt the side was home.
"That whole game our aim was to play till that whistle went and we had to with Dubbo. Not one time I thought we had that," Stanford said.
She said having the stands at capacity - even though that was COVID restriction-affected was a great effort from everyone involved.
"That was so good for women's rugby," Sanford said.
Dubbo Roos gun and former Wallaroo Rebecca Smyth said going down "wasn't the best feeling".
"We knew Bulldogs put it to us earlier this season and we knew it was going to be tough today," she said.
"Hats off to them, they deserved it.
"That's the toughest game we've had all year, they're no strangers to grand finals."
She said losing Mason-Spice was tough.
"Losing Lil first up, we've got a lot of speed in the backline and she certainly leads that, I think because we've never played without her it was certainly a shock, we still had the speed but not the experience out there," she said.
"We've got a young side, first grand final for a lot of those girls. Super proud of them, making sure we're sticking together and we'll be back better than ever."
- BATHURST BULLDOGS 17 (Tegan Miller, Brydie Comiskey, Claudia McLaren tries, Daisey Morrissey 1 conversion) def DUBBO KANGAROOS 12 (Emily Caton, Savannah Dimmock tries, Alahna Ryan 1 conversion).