Canterbury halfback Moses Mbye hopes a few off-season adjustments and a closer understanding of halves partner Josh Reynolds' game will remedy the club's struggles to score points.
The Bulldogs were criticised at times in 2016 for not being able to create enough points or execute with ball in hand despite their big forward pack generally providing a solid platform
With no big-name playmakers inbound (former Cronulla and Ipswich half Josh Cleeland and young ex-Raiders hooker Zac Woolford seem unlikely to start the season in first grade) it is up to those who were in those roles last season to find the improvements.
"Obviously we bowed out in straight sets last year and it wasn't the ideal way to go but that's last year," the World All Stars playmaker said in the lead-up to this weekend's All Stars fixtures.
"We're fortunate enough to have another opportunity to take the comp by the horns. We've had a big summer, spent a lot of time together over the summer and that's what it's about, spending time together, especially as a combination.
"We're working real hard, tweaked a couple of things here and there and we're excited to try it out on the field."
He said the more time two halves spend together the more they learn about each other.
"Obviously for myself and Josh that's what we're doing now, we're spending time together, learning each other's games," he said.
"It's about complementing each other with what you're good at. It's been really enjoyable this pre-season, we've had a good summer and we're just looking forward to the next few weeks with trials coming up and Round 1 just around the corner, it's going to be a good time."
Mbye elected not to disclose what attacking changes the club had made just yet but rejected suggestions the club's attack was too predictable.
"We're tweaked a couple of things here and there. You only have to look back as far as 2014 we made the grand final playing a similar style and you look two years before that, 2012 same result off a similar style," he said.
"To be honest I think it comes down to execution – there's no doubt we created enough opportunities throughout the season but it was the ability to execute that let us down.
"Canterbury has such a rich history of being successful, they've brought through some of the best players the game's seen and we're a big powerful club and that sort of club demands results. That's the sort of pressure you get when you get that Canterbury badge."
Of the coming days, Mbye was looking forward to both representing his Gambian heritage during the All Stars event as well as working under former Maroons coach Mal Meninga as he looks to press his claims for an Origin jersey in the post-Johnathan Thurston era from 2018 onwards.
"[All Stars] is an opportunity to represent my heritage. You don't get these opportunities much, especially with a small country like Gambia, they don't have a side so it's a good opportunity. It makes you learn a bit more about it as well," he said.
"And everyone's aware of Mal's resume, he's been a successful coach for a number of years now. It's only a short camp here but you just put your feelers out and take whatever you can.
"I've worked with Mal a few times now and was fortunate enough to work with him in the Prime Minister's XIII at the end of last season. He's a quality coach, a lot of knowledge and looking forward to spending another week with him."