DEFENDING champions Nadera Panthers wants to make a bullet start in their semi-final clash against Makoi Bulldogs this Saturday at Buckhurst Park in Suva.
Coach Vula Dakuitoga said they had to build on their performance from the past two matches and make a good start in the semis.
The side recorded a close 12-10 victory over Namatakula Tigers in the final elimination round and was lucky against Nabua Broncos after clinching a 16-13 win in the quarters last week.
Dakuitoga said they clawed back in both matches, adding they were fortunate to have survived the competition so far.
"We are working on settling fast in the game. We can't afford to play catch up rugby league and need to start strong in the semi-finals," he said.
"In the last two matches we were fortunate to make comebacks and win the game but we can't risk that in this stage.
"At this stage, we need to play throughout the full 80 minutes."
Dakuitoga said the players were injury-free with minor bruises from the past battles.
He said they were concentrating on their regular training and focusing on mental toughness for this weekend's clash.
Dakuitoga rated the Fair Trade Makoi Bulldogs highly but added the Dee Cees Nadera Panthers experience of playing in the knockout stages would be vital for the side.
"We have been in this stage at many occasions and we know what is required by teams to succeed here," he said.
"But Makoi is a good side and have been there for some time now. They got a good set of players and they will definitely give us a good game."
Dakuitoga has called on the supporters to come out in numbers to rally their support behind the team.
In the other semi-final, Sabeto Roosters takes on Police Sharks.