Storm fall short in Belmore trial
Melbourne Storm experienced a tough hit-out at Belmore Sports Ground on Saturday, going down 20-0 in the trial match.
The game served as a chance for several of Storm's experienced players to dust off the cobwebs ahead of the Club's Round 1 clash against the Dragons at AAMI Park on March 7.
Skipper Cameron Smith played half the match whilst other teammates playing their first game of 2016 were also given limited playing time to build match fitness.
The game was understandably riddled by handling errors throughout the contest as both teams attempted to find their footballing touch ahead of the NRL season proper.
For two teams who have been built on the back of defence in recent seasons it was hardly surprising that the first 30 minutes would pass by without any score.
Melbourne enjoyed their share of good ball during the opening stanza however were unable to translate that onto the scoreboard.
It took until the 29th minute to break the deadlock and it was the Bulldogs who struck first through Sam Perrett.
Five minutes later and it was a Storm error that handed the home side possession 10m out. Michael Lichaa would prove the beneficiary as he snuck through to score under the posts and stretch the Bulldogs lead to 10 at halftime.
Storm came out after the restart with intent and instantly had the Bulldogs on the back foot, forcing a goaline drop out.
The men in purple were unable to find their way through and despite their hardwork it was Canterbury who struck first after the break.
Josh Jackson capped off a move down the right side for the Bulldogs' third try of the afternoon as they extended their lead 16-0.
As the rain began to fall at Belmore, Storm were unlucky not to hit back in the 64th minute as Marika Koroibete crossed the line only for the pass which sent him there to be judged forward.
Sam Perrett collected his second off a grubber kick as time expired as the Bulldogs recorded a 20-0 trial win.
Melbourne Storm 0
Canterbury Bulldogs 20
Tries: Sam Perrett 2, Michael Lichaa, Josh Jackson
Goals: Chase Stanley 2