It felt like Ground-Dog Day for Canterbury's attack on a wet and wild night at Belmore.

As hard as the Dogs tried, they simply lacked the polish to cash in on a glut of second-half possession to lose 12-6 to a stubborn Melbourne.

There was no more disappointed Dog than playmaker Josh Reynolds, who made a brilliant 60m break in the second half, scored the home side's only try, but spilled the ball at some crucial times.

"I thought we created more opportunities than them, we just couldn't finish them," Reynolds said afterwards.


"A couple of times I stuffed up, my eyes lit up at the wrong times, and that's where I need to settle down and keep calm.

"It's not that I was getting (over) excited, but with the conditions I needed to go extra slow, and that's something I need to work on.

"I told the boys I wasn't happy with that.

"If we were to take one positive out of a negative, it's we did create chances, and maybe we weren't creating those chances last year, as everyone was saying.

"On a wet night, we still threw the ball around well, and if we get a dry track, it will be good."

Canterbury made a conscious effort to spread the ball more while Reynolds and halfback Moses Mbye took it upon themselves to run the ball.

But the 8712 fans who braved the ridiculous conditions - the rain pelted down sideways at one stage midway through the second half - will be wondering if their team can turn on the points next Thursday against the Sydney Roosters.

The Bulldogs struggled to score last year, and the big talking point will be whether they can worry the scoreboard moving forward.

Coach Des Hasler would have been banking on a solid start, especially with all the speculation about him inking a new deal beyond this season.

A whole summer of training almost went out the window when Melbourne centre Cheyse Blair and winger Suliasi Vunivalu strolled over for soft tries in the opening seven minutes.

Reynolds hit back after new recruit Brenko Lee busted through three defenders and threw the ball inside, but there would be no more points from either side.

"I thought in the second half we had three genuine try-scoring opportunities that we put down," Hasler said.

"We have to execute in that moment, and we didn't. We paid the price and we ran out of time."

Storm skipper Cameron Smith praised his side's defence, and declared: "I don't think I've ever played a round one game and come away and thought, 'it can't get any better than that'."

Melbourne 12 (C Blair S Vunivalu tries C Smith 2 goals) bt Canterbury 6 (J Reynolds try K Holland goal) at Belmore Sports Ground.

Referee: Gerard Sutton, Matt Noyen.

Crowd: 8,712.