Storm triumph over Dogs in wet and wild clash
IF Des Hasler hatched a new game plan to re-ignite the Bulldogs attack, it certainly wasn't sighted on a wet and wild night at Belmore.
Canterbury virtually had all the ball the entire second half against a stubborn Melbourne before going down 12-6.
Much of the talk during the off-season was how on earth the Dogs would start scoring more points, an area they struggled in last season.
There were a few a few promises from the players they would run and pass the ball more, but it was the same old Dogs.
It would have disappointed the 8712 fans who braved the horrible conditions, which included rain pelting down sideways midway through the second half.
While the fans were frustrated, there was also no love lost in the middle with several melees, as well as the sin-binning of Will Chambers and Sam Kasiano for going the knuckle.
Chambers, a cruiserweight, ran more than 10m to throw a few punches to the back of the head of former super-heavyweight Kasiano.
While the Storm secured the win, they could have some concerns with Cameron Munster placed on report for tripping Josh Jackson, while prop Jesse Bromwich lasted less than ten minutes with a suspected fractured thumb.
Hasler is desperate to extend his deal beyond this season, and the round-one loss will do little to silence the knockers wanting him gone.
It is hard to work out how the Dogs will register more tries in just six days time against the Sydney Roosters.
They only crossed the line on the half hour through Reynolds who received a lovely inside ball from new recruit Brenko Lee who somehow brushed past three defenders.
Reynolds tried hard as usual and made a wonderful 60m break in the second half, but the gutsy run amounted to nothing.
Too often they dropped the ball cold, watched it dribble over the sidelines, while Reynolds on another occasion failed to play the ball on the fifth tackle.
Halfback Moses Mbye's kicking game was not the best, while the Morris twins had to go looking for the ball after half-time.
Canterbury's new-look right edge had the worst possible start when Brenko Lee and Kerrod Holland were split by Cheyse Blair for the easiest of tries in the third minute.
The Storm then almost immediately raced out to 10-0 after the Morris twins could only watch Suliasi Vunivalu pluck a Cooper Cronk from the air and stroll over for an easier four-pointer.
When Cronk was pulled down in back play as he chased after a Cameron Smith grubber, Smith was able to convert a penalty to make it 12-0.
The Bulldogs did find the line through Josh Reynolds after Lee was able to brush off three defenders and find his five-eighth on his inside.
But that was the first - and last - real scoring chance Canterbury had.
MELBOURNE 12 (C Blair S Vunivalu tries C Smith 2 goals) bt CANTERBURY 6 (J Reynolds try K Holland goal) at Belmore Sports Ground. Referee: Gerard Sutton, Matt Noyen. Crowd: 8712.