Widnes full-back Rhys Hanbury knows how important a good start to the season is.
The Vikings survived via The Qualifiers last season, defeating Catalans in Perpignan, having finished bottom of the Super League table during the regular season.
They won five games in the first phase of the season, including just one of their first 10 games.
In 2016, they won six of their first seven games on their way to finishing the top eight, and back in 2014, they won five of their first seven and also made the play-offs.
He said: “It was a really disappointing season for myself personally and the team, we had a lot of injuries.
“The silver lining last season was we stayed up and a lot of kids got a lot of experience that they might not have been ready for.
“The season’s have become a lot more stressful within that bottom four, so we don’t want to be anywhere near that again.
“We’re trying to start the season off well and get our confidence back and roll on from there.
“We’ve got a good start with Catalans at home, it’s a nice fixture for us to start with, they are a big team so we have to move them around.
“If we can start well, it’s going to be massive for us.”
Widnes also survived via The Qualifiers in 2015, when they won three and drew one of their first 10 games in the initial phase of the season.
They host the Dragons at the Halton Stadium on Sunday February 4 to kick off their season.