When Canterbury coach Dean Pay took over the head coaching role late in 2017, he promised to take the madness out of his football team.
Over twelve months on and all Pay now wants is a bit of bite after watching the Bulldogs in a round-one humbling at the hands of the Warriors. All eyes will be on whether they can bounce back when they host arch rivals Parramatta at home on Sunday.
Pay avoided making wholesale changes after just one match, instead opting to give the same 17 a chance to redeem themselves at ANZ Stadium.
"There was a lot of players in there that were really disappointed with their performance. I needed to give them another chance to respond," Pay said, promising this will not always be the case.
"It's a week to week thing. If they perform, they keep their spot. If they don't... if we've got someone better playing in reserve grade, we'll make changes."
Not much is expected from a Bulldogs squad that has been gutted over the past 12 months because of salary cap issues. Key trio David Klemmer, Brett and Josh Morris followed Moses Mbye and Aaron Woods out the door, with little experience coming in.
Former Sydney Roosters prop Dylan Napa was the only notable signing, however his pre-season was interrupted over sex tape drama.
The Queensland representative was largely anonymous in his club debut, carrying the ball for a mere 74 metres from nine carries in 43 minutes.
Pay said Napa wasn't alone in lacking aggression against the Warriors.
"I wouldn't single out one person. I think we need to be better in that area," he said.
Pressed on whether the rest of the forward pack needed to step up and channel the old Dogs of War attitude, Pay said: "That's all in the past. This is a new group. That's what we're working with."
The Bulldogs take on an Eels side buzzing after their round-one upset win against Penrith, although they have been forced into three changes.
Michael Jennings (suspension), Nathan Brown (pectoral) and Will Smith (arm) are all out, with Junior Paulo, Josh Hoffman and Jaeman Salmon getting call-ups.
It will be Paulo's first match for the club since leaving at the end of 2016.
STATS THAT MATTER
* Canterbury will be aiming to avoid losing their opening two games of a season for a third consecutive year.
* Parramatta are aiming to win their opening two games of a season for just the fourth time since the NRL era began in 1998.
* Bulldogs fullback Will Hopoate ran for 243 metres and had a try assist in last week's loss to the Warriors.
Australian Associated Press