Bulldogs prop Aaron Woods.

Bulldogs need to follow Broncos example: Civoniceva

NRL great Petero Civoniceva said the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs need to follow the example provided by the Brisbane Broncos last week if they are to appear on the Telstra Premiership winner's list.

After gaining some confidence despite losing to the reigning premiers Melbourne Storm in round one, Dean Pay's men failed to reach any great heights in a comprehensive loss to the Sydney Roosters in round two.

Civoniceva - who forged a reputation as one of the best props to have played in the last 25 years during a career that included 309 NRL matches, 33 Holden State of Origin appearances and 51 Tests for Australia and Fiji – said Canterbury need to remember that the season is a long one.

"Some teams are going to take time to gel, and the Bulldogs are a prime example. They've had the most upheaval over the off-season; they have a new coach and some big signings and with that comes a lot of expectation," Civoniceva said.

"They would definitely be feeling the pressure, especially Aaron Woods, who has been brought to the club on big money. The expectation is to show your value and being the proud guy he is, he'd be disappointed after starting the season with two losses. 

"The Broncos showed us how to bounce back after a disappointing start. They were disappointing in the season opener against St George Illawarra but were great last weekend against the Cowboys. 

"They copped a lot of criticism after their first game, and rightly so, because it was an uncharacteristic performance. It was great to see them bounce back and play the style of footy we know they can."

While the Bulldogs are still searching for their first competition points, the dream starts enjoyed by the Wests Tigers and Newcastle Knights have impressed Civoniceva.

"I've also been excited by the upsets early in the season by sides that didn't do well last year – like the Knights and Wests Tigers," Civoniceva said.

"They've been able to reinvent themselves and bring a whole new energy to how they play. It's great to see those two proud clubs starting the season so well and inspiring their fans again.

"It was wonderful to see the crowd back the new generation of Knights and Wests Tigers players and they’ve rewarded them accordingly with some tough and gritty performances."