Canberra Raiders 40 Melbourne Storm 8
Gareth Widdop of the Storm is wrapped by the Raiders defence last night. Photo: Quinn Rooney
Canberra made light of their six All-Stars absentees by thumping Melbourne 40-8 in Friday night's NRL trial match in Geelong.
The Raiders were never going to be headed after scoring the first five tries of the game at Simonds Stadium.
French international Dimitri Pelo scored a first-half double for the Raiders, while their other starting winger, part-time model Sandor Earl, also crossed twice.
Canberra Raiders vs Melbourne Storm
Action from the NRL trial match between the Canberra Raiders and the Melbourne Storm at Simonds Stadium. Photo: Getty Images
Canberra's other try-scorers were Josh Dugan, Josh Papalii, Haydon Hodge and Edrick Lee.
New Zealand winger Matt Duffie finally opened the scoring for the reigning premiers on the stroke of halftime.
But Duffie left the field early in the second half after appearing to hurt his leg in a tackle.
Edrick Lee tries to palm off a Storm tackler. Photo: Getty Images
Melbourne's only other try was scored by Victorian product Richard Kennar early in the second half.
The Raiders have the biggest contingent of any NRL club on All-Stars duty, with Jake Foster, Jack Wighton, Blake Ferguson, Joel Thompson, Reece Robinson and David Shillington all set to play in Saturday night's game in Brisbane.
Cameron Smith and Justin O'Neill were the only Storm players set to be involved in the representative game, following the withdrawal of Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater due to injury.
But despite pulling out of the NRL All-Stars squad last month with an ankle injury, Slater made cameos early in each half on Friday night for Melbourne before being replaced at fullback by youngster Ben Hampton.
In his short time on the field, Slater showed enough to confirm he would be ready for the World Club Challenge match against Leeds on February 22.
CANBERRA 40 (D Pelo 2 S Earl 2 J Dugan J Papalii H Hodge E Lee tries J Croker 2 J Dugan 2 goals) bt MELBOURNE 8 (M Duffie R Kennar tries) at Simonds Stadium, Geelong.