They’re the hottest team in the NRL outside of Bondi, but Canterbury insist they can go up a gear in Saturday’s NRL elimination final against St George-Illawarra.
While the Sydney Roosters are favourites for the title given their 12-game winning streak, the Bulldogs are also flying on a five-game run.
However prop David Klemmer says the team isn’t getting carried away with their recent results.
Despite their strong run in, last year’s grand finalists fell short of a top four spot and will now be fighting to stay alive in the competition on Saturday.
Competition heavyweights Brisbane and South Sydney have fallen victim to the Bulldogs over the past month, but Klemmer says sketchy wins over Gold Coast and the Warriors prove there is plenty of room for improvement.
“We’ve been pretty disappointed with some of our performances this season,” Klemmer said on Wednesday.
“We’ve discussed (after the Warriors game) that we didn’t perform well.
“We know where we stand and what would’ve been. Now we’ve got to come out and play semi-final football.”
Second-rower Josh Jackson said this week’s do-or-die clash is a consequence of their mixed form during the year.
“It’s all on the line now. We were scrappy against the Warriors last week, so we’ve got a fair bit of room to improve,” he said.
In the Bulldogs’ favour is their finals experience, having not missed September action since Des Hasler took over at Belmore in 2012.
In contrast, the Dragons haven’t played semi-final football since Wayne Bennett left Wollongong at the end of 2011.
Jackson said their previous exposure to finals footy allowed them to recognise the areas they needed to work on.
“It’s a different kind of game. If you start slow, you probably miss it a little bit,” he said.
“We’ve got to really improve on our start and start playing more of a grinding style of footy.”
The Bulldogs have split their two games against the Dragons this year, going down 31-6 in round 6 before exacting revenge with a 29-16 victory in round 13.