Despite a brave comeback the Roosters Holden Cup side went down to the South Sydney Rabbitohs 34-32 in a thrilling game at ANZ Stadium.
The home side pushed out to a three try lead deep in the second half before a spirited fightback had the Tricolours in the lead with five minutes remaining.
A try to the home side just before the siren was calmy converted just in from the sideline to secure the result for the Rabbitohs.
Coach Adam Hartigan won't be too dissapointed with his chargers as the side contains a number of new faces who will only improve having played together as a group for the first time.
Nene Macdonald opened the scoring for the visitors, cleverly toeing the ball in to the in goal area after initially fumbling to make it 4-0 early on.
A clever break down the short side from newly appointed captain Alex Thomas set up the Tricolours second.
Macdonald latched on to the pass before showing sheer strength to offload to Cornish who burrowed his way over.
The positive start was rained back in when Rabbitohs halfback Tangiiti scored a quickfire double including a great solo effort from twenty metres out to put the home side in front by two.
Both sides exchanged blows for the remainder of the half until a brilliant offload from Mitch Mamary ensured Bradley Dietz went in to the break up by four.
South Sydney were first to strike after the break, Cameron Mcinnes sneaking hiw way over from dummy half to regain the lead before Cheyne Whitelaw bust through the line minutes later and suddenly the home side had opened up a decent lead.
Handling erorrs and penalties then proved the Tricolours biggest problem as a lack of field position enabled the home side to extend the lead to twelve.
Macdonald then sparked life in to the occassion, outleaping two defenders and latching on to a Cornish cross field kick to score his second.
Storming on to the ball at full pace from a tap Vincent Leuluai then put the Tricolours to within two dragging defenders over the line like they were weights at a training session.
Taane Milne then put the vistors in the lead with a strong effort minutes from the end before Souths conversion after the bell secured the result for the home side.