Playmaker Josh Reynolds says the Bulldogs can’t afford a repeat of the slow start to their 2013 NRL season which brought just one win in their first six games.

Key playmaker Josh Reynolds says Canterbury can’t afford another slow start to the NRL season after a disappointing round one loss to Brisbane.

The Bulldogs won just one of their first six games in 2013, a sluggish start that cost them a top four finish before they bowed out of the title race in the first round of the finals to Newcastle.

The Dogs struggled to click into gear against the Broncos and Reynolds says they need to avoid a repeat effort against the Cronulla in their round two fixture at ANZ Stadium on Monday night.

“That’s slow start is something we have spoken about in the pre-season and it has been a focus,” Reynolds said.

“We just have to make sure we win this week and hopefully that starts us off because we have got a good solid start against a couple of good sides coming up.

“So we have to make sure we are on our game on Monday night and that will hopefully be a good stepping stone, to kick us off and we can find some form.”

The Dogs will start favourites against an injury hit Cronulla side missing Todd Carney (hamstring), Paul Gallen (ankle), Andrew Fifita (suspension), Beau Ryan (neck), Luke Lewis (shoulder), Anthony Tupou (knee), and Jeff Robson (face).

“Everyone is saying the Bulldogs should come away with an easy win but the boys definitely are not thinking that,” Reynolds said.

“They will have some young guys who are coming into the side who want to prove themselves and that is always a dangerous thing because you don’t know what they are going to do.

“We are going to have to be on our game because if we do what we did against the Broncos last Friday night and drop so much ball, and really didn’t do what we do well, we will probably come away with the same result on Monday so we are really going to have to make sure our minds are on the job.

“We were disappointed in our effort last week. We realise what we did wrong, we have been ripping in this week at training and looking forward to proving to ourselves against Cronulla on Monday night.”

Canterbury have been buoyed midweek by the signing of Fifita, who will join them next season on a four-year deal and fellow front-rower James Graham committing to four more years at Belmore.

The Bulldogs face Penrith, Melbourne and premiers the Sydney Roosters after the Sharks.