Easts Tigers were dealt a reality check on their trip to Port Moresby, going down to the PNG Hunters 38-8.
Several injuries early in the contest left the Tigers down to just 15 men after just 30 minutes.
Despite being in the game early, the weight of numbers eventually proved costly for the visitors as the Hunters raced out to a 30-0 half-time lead.
New Storm recruit Justin Olam showed a glimpse of his skills that Storm fans can look forward to next season, scoring the Hunters' first and last try of the day.
Jeremy Hawkins made his return to the field after a long layoff through injury and managed to find the try line in the 68th minute.
“It was good to get that game under his belt,” Easts coach Scott Sipple said.
“He only played 60 minutes, with the workload on his hammy we had to be careful with him.
“He looked better as the game wore on and he will definitely benefit from the run.”
The Tigers will now get the chance to re-group with the bye this week before taking on the Redcliffe Dolphins in a must-win clash.
With three of their last four games at home on Suzuki Field, Easts will be hoping for a strong finish to the season as they push to secure a finals berth.
PNG HUNTERS 38 (Justin Olam 2, Thompson Teteh 2, Warren Glare, Gahuna Silas, Bland Abavu tries; Ase Boas 5 goals) def EASTS TIGERS 8 (Dane Chang, Jeremy Hawkins tries)