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Elliott: Avoiding wooden spoon giving Dogs plenty of motivation

Canterbury-Bankstown's finals hopes have faded but lock Adam Elliott says they're fiercely motivated to restore some pride by avoiding the wooden spoon.

The Bulldogs sit two points above the cellar-dwelling Titans with seven games left in the regular season. They play the potent Roosters on Sunday and face four more top-eight teams in the run home.

Canterbury pulled away from the bottom last year with four wins in their final six matches, finishing 12th, and Elliott believes they can produce a similar late charge to end a disappointing campaign.

"[The wooden spoon] is certainly something you don't want. Our members and fans don't want that label," Elliott told NRL.com.

"We were facing it last year and found a bit of form at the back end of the season that gave our members, fans and ourselves a bit of hope.

"That's our goal – to make sure we put some good performances together, string together a few wins. We definitely don't want that label."

Bulldogs v Roosters - Round 19

Dean Pay's troops have shown recent improvement, securing consecutive victories over Cronulla and Newcastle before falling heavily to Brisbane last weekend.

The Roosters crushed Canterbury only five rounds ago and Elliott accepts his side must stand up to an imposing forward pack to spring an upset at ANZ Stadium.

"It's a massive test. We played a pretty good [Broncos] pack on the weekend and we know the Roosters are just as good, if not better," Elliott said, adding there had been an emphasis on defence at training.

"[The Roosters] have set the benchmark for a while and for us to be a chance we need to be really good in the middle."

Making Canterbury's task harder, the defending premiers welcome back Kiwi international centre Joseph Manu after he was rested for last week's resounding win against the Knights.

Manu played fullback in the absence of NSW custodian James Tedesco against the Bulldogs in round 14 and had an afternoon to remember, running for 299 metres and bagging two tries.

"A bloke like him having a rest and coming back fresh is certainly a dangerous prospect," Elliott said of Manu.

"And Teddy, how well he played through that Origin series and his form for the last few years, you can't sleep on him. He's going to pull something out of the hat when you least expect it."

Bulldogs prop Dylan Napa will meet his former teammates again after departing Bondi in the pre-season.

Elliott expects the firebrand to lead the way against the side he spent six successful seasons with.

"He had some of the best years of his life there, so he wouldn't be sour about it," Elliott said.

"We've had a few boys come to us and play their old teams and it's always a bigger occasion. You want to make sure you go out and put in a great performance for them.

"I know after the Origin series, Naps has come back and he's been really focused. I'm excited for him."

Workhorse Canterbury front rower Aiden Tolman will return from the ribs injury that sidelined him last week.

Elliott paid tribute to the toiler's consistency and competitiveness, saying he sets the standard for the club.

"The way he trains, it can be a fitness drill but he just wants to be the last one there," Elliott said.

"When you train that well ... you get to the game in autopilot and you can see that's why he puts in those performances."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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