Kevin Proctor : NRL Rugby League - Trail Match, Canterbury Bulldogs v Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, QLD, Sunday 23rd February 2014 . Digital Image by Charles Knight nrlphotos.com

Defence an improvement

Storm coach Craig Bellamy was pleased with his side's improvement in defence on Sunday, despite a 20-10 loss to Canterbury at Suncorp Stadium.

"At least we got our defence a little bit in order after our first trial," Bellamy said.

"It was a lot better today. I think we are in reasonable shape.

"We need to work pretty hard in the next two weeks on getting our attack right."

Storm number one Billy Slater was a late withdrawal after being named in Melbourne's squad on Tuesday and was replaced at fullback for the evening by young playmaker Cameron Munster. Bellamy is confident Slater will be ready for Round 1, regardless of his absence in Sunday's trial.

"He could have played 20 or 30 minutes today, we just thought he had done that he wouldn't have been able to train the full five days," Bellamy said.

"We just thought we would get a little bit more work into his legs.

"He actually trained yesterday, a pretty tough session and he'll probably do another one again tomorrow.

"He'll train with the side for the rest of the week, hopefully he'll come through that okay, if he does, he'll be right for Round 1."

A talking point for much of the pre-season, Melbourne's halves combination showed promising signs against an experienced Bulldogs defence. With Cooper Cronk missing Melbourne's final trial as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery, Ben Hampton and Ben Roberts assumed the playmaking positions.

"They're only young guys, Ben Roberts he hasn't been here too long, he hasn't done too much training with us," Bellamy said.

"He will hopefully get better as he gets a bit more experience and hopefully Benny (Hampton) will get better as he gets a bit more experience.

"They had some good moments but like I said they had some moments where they had to take a little bit more charge as well."