Storm centre Justin Olam is in doubt for Round 1 after suffering a suspected broken arm in his side's 32-24 loss to the Roosters in Geelong on Sunday.
On a day the Roosters were unveiling star signing Brandon Smith against his own club, it was the PNG international who sent a scare through Storm camp when he left the field in the sixth minute.
Smith didn't enter the fray until the second half with Trent Robinson choosing to blood several young guns in the club's first Pre-season Challenge match.
After the Roosters were denied an early try, Melbourne got the scoring underway when hooker Bronson Garlick made a break and found Tyran Wishart in support who crossed for the Storm.
The Roosters kicked away through converted tries to Lebanon international Elie El-Zakhem and former NSW Under 19's rep Tyler Moriarty.
But three minutes later an error from Ethan King inside their own 10m line handed Storm winger Will Warbrick an easy try to level the scores 12-12.
Jake Turpin then stamped his class on the match when he put William Fakatoumafi over with a perfectly weighted kick to the left corner which put the Roosters in front 18-12 at the break.
Match: Storm v Roosters
Round 1 -
Venue: GMHBA Stadium, Geelong
It took the Roosters just eight minutes to extend their lead in the second half with Sam Walker putting 23-year-old Jaxson Paulo through to score his first try for the Tricolours after arriving from South Sydney at the end of last season.
It was in the 50th minute that hooker Brandon Smith had Trent Robinson smiling in the stands when he teamed up with Victor Radley to put the experienced lock under the posts and stretch the Roosters lead.
Come the 55th minute and local junior Sualauvi Faalogo had Melbourne fans on their feet when he cleaned up a loose ball and ran the length of the field to score and reduce the deficit 28-18.
Another runaway try to Grant Anderson put Storm back in the running but it was in the 78th minute the Roosters sealed the win with a Junior Pauga try.
- The Roosters withdrew stars Lindsay Collins, Luke Keary, Joseph Suaalii and Daniel Tupou from the side on Saturday.
- Storm centre Justin Olam left the field in the sixth minute after suffering a suspected forearm fracture.
- Roosters star recruit Brandon Smith made his first appearance as a Tricolour when he ran on after half time against his former club.
- Melbourne's first try scorer, Tyran Wishart, is the son of former Steeler and Rod Wishart, who played 177 first-grade games between 1989 and 1999.
- Star Storm prop Christian Welch looked assured in his return to the field after rupturing his Achilles in Round 1 last season, making 19 tackles and producing two offloads.
- The Roosters activated all three of their bonus points, finishing on top of the Pre-Season Challenge ladder.
- Young fullback Sualauvi Faalogo made the most of his opportunity in Storm's No. 1 jumper scoring a try, running 210 metres and making two tackle breaks.
Turpin all class as kick finds Fakatoumafi on the full
Play of the Game
New recruit Brandon Smith had Roosters fans excited for the future when he showed a glimpse of the explosive magic he's set to bring to Trent Robinson's spine in 2023. Entering the fray in the second half, Smith hit a charging Victor Radley on the chest who sliced his way through the Storm's defence.
Brandon Smith makes an impact against his old club
What they said
"It was a bit weird looking up and seeing familiar faces. It was weird hearing all the names and plays, I knew everything they were doing so it was confusing me a little bit. I've still got plenty of room for improvement, I was still a bit shaky out there learning all the plays." - Roosters hooker Brandon Smith
The Roosters will travel to Gosford to face Manly next week who will have plenty of confidence after they beat the Rabbitohs 30-28 in Round 1.
The Storm will fly out to Christchurch to meet with the Warriors next Sunday who are also hot off a Week 1 win against Wests Tigers.