Singleton Bulls' legend Steve Merrick has paid tribute to his club's injury plagued list less than 48 hours after his first grade side suffered a 98-0 defeat to the Wanderers.
"The best thing was a Wanderers player had a kick after the bell to get to 100 and he missed it so we were all cheering," Merrick told the Singleton Argus on Monday.
"At the end of the day the club is ravaged by injury and, in the end, we had third graders back up against Wanderers' first grade.
"Personally, I was a bit worried about our boys' duty of care because they (Wanderers) are a very good football team and I know as a club we can't stop the game because of a shortage of players.
"Some of our players weren't up to that standard so my only thought was their welfare throughout the game."
First grade captain Dillon Rowney (back) and club captain Samuel Walker (hand) currently headline a long list of season ending injuries which also features Hasa Meihana, Mitch Gill (hand), Jackson Walsh (hamstring), Jackson Andrews (knee) and Lachlan Gulliver (ankle).
"And the blokes on the weekend were beaten up pretty bad so I'd be surprised if there wasn't more," Merrick continued.
"At the end of the day, the Wanderers are a professional club who go to the same gym together and they're a big fit football team.
"Up here in Singleton it's harder with players' rosters with work and I'm not making excuses but it's something the club has to look at.
"The boys were down 50-0 at half time, and the club didn't deserve that, but the boys kept encouraging each other so I'm proud of many of the guys that put their body on the line."
Despite the horrid scoreline the Bulls' inside centre Daniel Green was recognised by Merrick post-match for enduring hit after hit.
Third grade back rower Simon Walker was also required at top level on Saturday.
It would mark the 30-year-old's first grade debut.
Loyal clubman Chris Vizl also filled in the first grade side while teenager Beau Merrick, son of Steve, received 55 minutes after a full game of second grade.
"Allan Harris opted not to play second grade due to an injury but he had his boots on by the time we needed to fill the first grade side so credit to him," Merrick concluded.
"It's a good effort given he's about my age."
FULL RESULTS IN THIS WEDNESDAY'S SINGLETON ARGUS