WERRIS Creek arrived in Barraba on Saturday with only one reserve, and he was playing with a broken bone in his foot.
Zac Darcy did come on after an injury and did well on the wing considering, but it wasn’t enough as the premiers ran in 11 tries to win 58-6.
Creek coach Ron Dellar said Darcy “had a lot of guts” to step up when he realised how short they were for the game.
It took 10 minutes for the Bulldogs to break the Magpies’ line but then Ty Fairweather and Adam Russell scored two minutes apart.
Creek hit straight back with one of their own, although Trevor Hughes’ try in the 15th minute would be the last points the visitors would get.
The Bulldogs’ engine room got moving forward with captain coach Tim Coombes making plenty of metres and even getting some offloads away.
Dropped balls dominated sections of the game, with Creek being punished by the Bulldogs.
At least four times during the game mistakes on their own line would cost the Magpies.
Once the forwards were on the front foot Joey Latham repeatedly tore the defence apart.
Latham scored three tries himself as well as throwing the last pass in a handful of others.
Luke White was also very dangerous with ball in hand scoring two tries, as did winger Brendan McIllrick.
Zac Mallise came off the bench and showed a shearer’s fitness closing out the game for the premiers as the Magpies ran out of steam.
In the space of 10 minutes the big lock ran some great lines to score one and set up two before the whistle.
“We went through a bad patch a few weeks ago,” Coombes said.
“We’ve got our discipline in order and have been back on track in the last two matches.”
The Bulldogs have only one focus for the remainder of the season and that is to not drop another game.
Following defeats away to Dungowan and Kootingal the Bulldogs have a lot of home games in the run home including those two.
“It is hard to play up here and we need to beat both of them,” Coombes said.
“We don’t want to have to go to Kooty or Dungowan for a semi.”
Werris Creek are now focused on beating Walcha next week.
The Magpies should have at least three regulars back in the side when they host the Roos and battle it out for fourth and fifth place.
“We dropped balls and weren’t completing today,” Dellar said. “We need to go home and re-group because we have got to win that game next week.”