Melbourne Storm fell to the Canberra Raiders in their first trial match of the 2015 pre-season on Saturday in Griffith.
Showing some promising signs, the young Storm outfit battled it out with the Raiders in sweltering conditions and will head into next weekend's second trial match against Easts Tigers at Gosch's Paddock looking to build on Saturday's performance.
After a bright start from Melbourne who earned an advanced set inside the opening minutes of play, the Raiders hit back to open the scoring and consequently jump out to a 12-0 lead thanks to tries from Haydon Hodge and Jeremy Hawkins.
Melbourne opened their account shortly after with some sharp work from Blake Green and Kurt Mann unlocking the Raiders defence for Young Tonumaipea on the right wing. Both sides traded tries to close the opening half with Tonumaipea scoring his second for Melbourne with some aerial acrobatics.
Facing a six-point deficit at the half-time break, Melbourne drew within two points early in the second stanza when Richie Kennar found the try line. However a strong finish to the match, which included three tries allowed the Raiders to run out 32-20 victors in front of a healthy crowd in Griffith.
Goal kicking duties on the evening for Storm were shared between playmakers Shaun Nona, Cameron Munster and Blake Green.
Tries: Young Tonumaipea 2, Richie Kennar, Tim Glasby
Goals: Shaun Nona 1/2, Cameron Munster 1/1, Blake Green 0/1
Tries: Jeremy Hawkins 2, Haydon Hodge, Sam Williams, Luke Page, Patrick Mago
Goals: Jordan Rapana 4/5