THE tough season being endured by the Cootamundra Bulldogs continued on Sunday with a 58-8 defeat at the hands of premiership favourites the South City Bulls at Wagga's Harris Park.
The result sees the Bulldogs remain languishing at the bottom of the ladder, winless after 12 rounds, with the task not getting any easier as they face defending premiers the Gundagai Tigers at Fisher Park this weekend.
Gundagai will be primed for a big showing after a shock 43-20 loss to Wagga Kangaroos on Saturday.
As has been the case all year, the Bulldogs were able to match their opponents for periods of the game, however while the effort may again have been there, it's the execution that has proven costly.
The Bulldogs did provide the final highlight of the game, with five-eighth Jordyn Ballard putting in a deft chip from 30 metres out to which bounced fortuitously for co-coach Matt Forsyth who showed good hands to regather and cross the stripe as the siren sounded.
The Bulldogs' other points came from fellow coach Chris Maher who showed great strength close to the line late in the first half.
While outclassed by a superior opponent, the Bulldogs did have a number of solid contributors.
Ballard continued his excellent mid-season form with another strong display in both attack and defence, while hooker James Woolford worked tirelessly for the entire 80 minutes.
In the absence of regular front rowers Roman Leota and Wayne Parker, big man Moe Clune played one of his best games for the year playing extended minutes, while Luke Levett and Tom Miller were solid in defence.
The Bulldogs will be hoping to see a number of players back for Sunday's clash with the Tigers which will be their third last home game of the season.
Despite a disappointing 34-4 defeat against the Bulls on the weekend, the Bulldogs reserve grade side remains in fourth place on the ladder and can almost assure themselves a place in the finals with a win over Gundagai on Sunday.
Like their first grade counterparts the ressies were without several players on the weekend, with the best being Mitch Kemp, Cody Hotston, Luke Levett and Grant Miller.
The girls leaguetag side flew the flag for the club on the weekend, impressive 22-8 winners over the Bulls with Mattese Clark (2), Lauren Connell, Emma Holder and Ella Baker all finding the line.
The win keeps the Bullettes in the hunt for the finals.