Round 1 the focus, not results

Cooper Cronk says time will tell whether Saturday’s Trial match against the Bulldogs at North Hobart Oval will serve as solid preparation for Storm’s 2017 opener.

A late Melbourne charge was not enough to overturn an early second half deficit of 8-28 as the Bulldogs impressed in attack.

“It wasn’t our greatest performance,” Cronk said post match in Hobart.

“At the end of the day, if it sets us up to play good football in Round 1 time will tell whether it was a good outing.”

The outing was Cronk’s first appearance of the pre-season after returning to training post-Christmas alongside Storm’s other international representatives.

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“It’s delicate, obviously you want to work on the combinations you work through but you also want to be prime for Round 1,” Cronk said.

“It’s been a long time since my debut so you don’t need to have all the match practice.”

With Melbourne due to play Canterbury again in Round 1 in less than two weeks an extra dimension was added to the Trial in Hobart.

“I think both teams held a little bit back but the main thing when you want to have a hit out in pre-season setting up for the competition you want to see effort,” Cronk said.

With plenty of fringe players looking to impress in Hobart, Cronk highlighted young New Zealand-born forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona as a positive to come out of Melbourne’s loss.

I think Nelson Asofa-Solomona was probably our standout player,” Cronk said.

“He’s a fringe player that will obviously get a lot of game time throughout the year and we’re looking for him to step up in a larger role.

“I’m sure there was a couple of guys that impressed Craig enough to get their name put on the team card (for Round 1).”