Storm v Bulldogs rematch comes early
The season didn't even have to start for the Storm to get another crack at the Bulldogs.
Although in the open view of Gosch's Paddock in front of barely a hundred onlookers is probably not the rematch the clubs had in mind.
With a proper trial match scheduled for three days time, the two teams decided to come together for a bout of touch footy on Wednesday night.
While it is fair to say the no contact rule was tested several times during the 45-minute session both sides eventually emerged unscathed.
The strange yet innovative idea was suggested by Bulldogs coach Des Hasler.
It has been just over five months since Canterbury ended the Storm's 2014 campaign after handing out a 28-4 thrashing in the elimination final at AAMI Park.
Storm veteran Ryan Hinchliffe admitted the session did take some getting used to in the early stages.
"It was a bit strange, to be honest," Hinchcliffe said.
"At the start there was a bit of a feeling out process with what sort of intensity each side was going to go with but it was actually really good. It was good to practice plays against a side that didn't know the plays we were doing.
"It's a bit of a different concept but at the same time these things could work and you never know unless you try them."
Hinchcliffe will likely play at hooker for Saturday's trial and potentially for the first month of the season as skipper Cameron Smith continues to recover from ankle surgery.
Smith was an onlooker on Wednesday while Billy Slater was a notable absentee, although the club said it is nursing the 31-year-old through the summer after a bruising 2014.
With a long pre-season almost in the bag, Saturday night's trial game at AAMI Park cannot come quick enough for both sets of players.
"We just want to get out and play and do the fun stuff," said Hinchcliffe.
"I know the boys are really excited to test ourselves against some good opposition and see how we are really going."
Melbourne kicks off its 2015 season against St George Illawarra on March 9 at Jubilee Oval.