The Canberra Raiders will take plenty of positives out of their 24-4 trial loss to the Melbourne Storm last night, despite being on the wrong end of the score line. The Green Machine trialled 30 players in the match at the Bega Recreational Ground, with several of their big name stars rested for the match, while others like David Shillington and Bronson Harrison only played in just over half of the contest. In a tough opening third of play defence from both the Raiders and Storm was on show, with the 0-0 score line at the break reflecting the arm wrestle of a match which was played on a heavy track in Bega following substantial rain in the lead up. The Raiders had their chances to score throughout the contest but lacked the finishing touch on a few occasions, with some of the younger outside backs losing the ball when in scoring positions. The final third of the match gave the next generation of stars the chance to impress, with Nick Skinner showing he’s potential with an outstanding burst on his first carry. One of the real success stories of the night was the emergence of young halfback Sam Williams who wasn’t overawed by the occasion and showed signs of why he was named in the Toyota Cup team of the year in 2010. Up front it was business as usual for Dane Tilse and David Shillington as they showed why the Raiders front row is one of the best in the league, with new recruit Brett White putting on big hits and blistering runs against his former club. Daniel Vidot showed he’s lost none of his finishing touches on the wing as he scored the Raiders only try, while Jarrod Croker was one of the best in attack, making several line breaks in his role down the left hand edge. Co-Captain for the match Bronson Harrison said the positive signs are there for all to see and expected a better showing this weekend against the Bulldogs in Tamworth with key personnel ready to come back. “Our defence was strong for the first two periods and I thought the young guys showed plenty of enthusiasm when they got their chances,” Harrison said. “With Tommy Learoyd, Tonguey and Duges due back next week I think you’ll see a more structured performance from the team.” The Raiders will train in Canberra early this week, before heading to Tamworth on Thursday for their second and final trial.

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