"That's what you play footy for - finals, not minor premierships".
Orange Emus coach Pete Bromley wasn't too fussed his side's mathematical hope of winning a fourth straight Blowes Clothing Cup minor premiership came to an end on Saturday, because he wasn't expecting to win it anyway.
Bulldogs claimed their first minor title since 2001 with a 20-17 victory over Emus but even if the greens had won, it was unlikely they'd have leapfrogged the Bathurst side in the final round anyway.
"We never thought we'd get the minor premiership anyway because even if we won today with a bonus point, they're still in front of us and they still have a game against Cowra and if they win that, they'd still get the minor premiership," Bromley said.
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"Our focus is built towards the finals and it has been for the last few weeks."
Bulldogs' veteran five-eighth Scott Johnston actually echoed Bromley following the win, although he was stoked his side has claimed it he said the minor premiership means nothing.
He did take time to reflect on the fact his club is on the verge of something very special though, considering they've locked up the second and third grade and colts minor titles too, and remain a mathematical hope of winning the Westfund Ferguson Cup's too.
Johnston was a member of the last Bulldogs first XV to taste premiership glory - the 2010 outfit which downed Narromine 27-15 - and like his current team-mates he is hungry to once more celebrate a grand final success.
"Realistically the minor premiership means nothing," Johnston, who scored the match-winner against Emus, said.
"I guess it's nice to be able to play here for the first semi-final, I guess that is going to be a little bit of an advantage, but we are going to have to improve on that for the first semi when we take on Emus.
"Our goal at the start of the year was to play in that grand final and if we get there, it's anyone's ball game from there."
While first qualifying for, then winning, the grand final is the ultimate goal for Bulldogs, the minor premiership does bring with it the bonus of hosting the major semi-final.
Ashwood Park is a venue where Bulldogs have not lost a regular season game for the last two years. It is a venue the Bathurst side undoubtedly lifts at as indicated by their brilliant defensive effort against Emus.
"That's probably how we've played all season in regards to our defence. We've got a lot of confidence out of our defence and it is showed because we had plenty of energy there at the end," Johnston said.
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