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Raiders forward Sia Soliola.

Canberra veteran Sia Soliola believes the only way is up for the Raiders after they went down fighting to perennial heavyweights Melbourne on Friday night in the nation's capital.

Errors and miss tackles allowed the Storm to pile on the pressure in the game's opening 30 minutes.

They enjoyed 60 per cent of possession during that decisive period, skipping out to a 14-0 lead.

Soliola said that 30 minutes did not reflect what the Raiders are about this season, with their off-season focus on defence hoping to shore up what has in recent seasons been their weakness.

"It's really disappointing - not the result we wanted today but as expected Melbourne played really well," Soliola said.

"They really tested us around the ruck and for us being a new squad we couldn't get any momentum.

"I thought we still tried for the full 80 and that was one of the more pleasing parts about it."

Raiders forward Sia Soliola.
Raiders forward Sia Soliola. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

The loss was further soured by the injury news for Joe Tapine, who is set for scans on a suspected fractured thumb.

Canberra showed signs of life on either side of half-time thanks to aggression in defence and the line-speed that was more consistent in their round one victory.

However, twice Josh Papalii was held up inches short of the line at the end of sets, while turnovers also released the pressure on Melbourne.

In spite of the loss, the return of Jordan Rapana from injury will give the Raiders' right edge its usual punch, Saliva Havili was busy off the bench with 102 metres and 30 tackles along with Soliola, who lifted the line-speed when he came on in the 19th minute to replace the injured Tapine.

The loss continued Soliola's personal run of outs against the Storm, with the Raiders veteran now having only tasted victory in one of his last 12 games against Melbourne.

Regardless, the 32-year-old knows there are better times ahead for this year's squad given how many new faces and positional shifts they are trying to integrate.

"Last year was different because we had a group that was here for a very long time and still had the same expectations in comparison to this year," he said.

"But now we've got a few changes and the dynamics of the group are changing and we've got new halves and some new guys in pretty important positions.

"We'll have a look back and see where we could have improved, but I was just really pleased with the commitment the boys had."

Match Highlights: Raiders v Storm

The Raiders host the Newcastle Knights who are similar to Canberra in trying to adapt to new players and existing ones in key positions with the likes of David Klemmer and Kalyn Ponga.

Soliola said round three will be just a small part of a larger "journey" Canberra is on this year.

"If it doesn't go our way we'll review and learn from it and grow and that's what I'm really looking forward to everybody's looking to improve not only as a squad but as individuals," he said.  

"We've got guys learning new positions and some who are still getting the feel of what the NRL is like and we're going along on a journey."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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