The New Zealand Warriors have produced a strong defensive performance to defeat the Melbourne Storm 12-6 in their pre-season trial match at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong on Friday night.
A youthful Warriors outfit ran in two tries to Melbourne's one in an even contest, as both sides dusted off some cobwebs in their first trial game of the year ahead of their season-openers next month.
While the result went the Warriors way, both teams will be pleased with the hit-out and the solid performances of a host of players looking to impress ahead of the regular season.
Teenager Chanel Harris-Tavita did his hopes of replacing Shaun Johnson in the halves no harm with an excellent showing, although his main competitors in the race to partner Blake Green were also good.
Adam Keighran's kicking game was strong, while Hayze Perham came off the bench to score the winning try with eight minutes remaining.
The Warriors will also be thrilled that Nate Roache got through the contest unscathed, with the hooker who missed the entire 2018 season through injury looking comfortable throughout his 20-minute stint in the first half.
The Storm will be happy that Sandor Earl made it through the match. The injury-plagued winger was safe under the high ball but was unable to make much of an impact in attack.
Question marks on who will replace champion full-back Billy Slater in the No.1 jersey still remain, with Scott Drinkwater and Ryan Papenhuyzen unable to put their stamp on the vacant position.
Drinkwater made a couple of mistakes early on before working his way into the match, while Papenhuyzen made a good break late in the game after coming off the bench.
Melbourne only fielded seven players that played in last year's losing grand final and the likes of Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster may be considered for next week's trial match against the Cowboys in Mackay.
There were issues with the flood lights early in the contest but that didn't stop Neria Fomai crossing over out wide for the opening try after five minutes.
Keighran converted the tough conversion from the sideline to make it 6-0 and the Warriors continued to threaten with Harris-Tavita's kicking game on song.
The Storm held firm on the defensive end to ensure they went into the sheds at half-time trailing by a converted try and their chances of registering a come-from-behind victory were boosted early in the second half when the Warriors were reduced to 12-man following the sin-binning of Sam Cook for a professional foul.
Cheyse Blair went close in the 65th minute and the former Eel was duly rewarded shortly after, latching onto a pass that appeared to drift forward to touch down for his team's only try of the match.
Their joy was much lived, with Perham scoring moments later to ensure the Warriors re-claimed the lead and went on to register the victory.