Cam Guthrie leaves the field with a doctor during Geelong's match simulation against Carlton on February 22, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

A NASTY quad injury to Geelong's senior midfielder Cam Guthrie has marred the side's otherwise impressive match simulation victory over Carlton at Ikon Park.

Guthrie, one of few veteran options in a youthful Cats midfield, needed assistance from medical staff as he came from the field after just six seconds on Thursday morning having dropped to the floor while executing the game's first kick.


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With the club's round one clash against St Kilda just 23 days away, it was one of few downsides for Geelong in a 17-point victory over Carlton where it survived sweltering conditions that peaked at around 38 degrees to win 10.13 (73) to 8.8 (56).

Guthrie played just six games last season having battled a toe injury, with Cats assistant coach James Rahilly saying afterwards: "It's a quad, but we don't know the severity of it. But it's his quad area.

"I haven't seen him … he was over the other side. But I'm sure they'll look at it. We'll see what comes of it, but he's had a ripping pre-season. He hasn't missed a trick, so we'll see how it plays out."

Guthrie's absence for almost the entirety of the match enabled a core of junior Cats talent featuring Tanner Bruhn and Jhye Clark to spend large stints of the contest playing through the midfield.


Max Holmes was also among the most impressive, rotating through the midfield in the second half after starting the game alongside veteran teammate Mitch Duncan in newfound roles across half-back.

They were able to deliver to a sharp forward line spearheaded by the ever-present Jeremy Cameron, who was among the game's standouts, but sparked by young duo Ollie Dempsey and Shannon Neale.


Dempsey took a high-flying mark in the second term that wowed Cats fans and finished with one goal, while Neale also kicked a goal and looked exciting playing as the side's deepest forward.

Carlton, which was weakened by the absence of injured stars such as Sam Walsh and Jacob Weitering, trialled a number of different options through the midfield including the newly acquired Elijah Hollands.

But it was his younger brother, Ollie, who was among the game's more impressive performers, running strongly on a wing throughout the match and kicking a nice goal on the run in the first half.

With small forward trio Jack Martin, Corey Durdin and Matt Owies no certainties to line up in Opening Round, the club's first selection at last year's draft Ashton Moir kicked two goals to stake his claim for an early-season debut.


Moir dovetailed nicely with his more senior partners Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow, who combined for three goals, and linked up well with Jesse Motlop and Orazio Fantasia.

Carlton continues its pre-season preparations with a clash against Melbourne at Ikon Park on Wednesday night, while Geelong returns to GMHBA Stadium to face Essendon on Friday evening.


Young guns

Carlton's top-30 pick Ashton Moir flashed glimpses of his significant potential in the forward line, staking him claim for an Opening Round debut with two nice crumbing goals on either side of half-time. Geelong's No.11 pick draft pick Connor O'Sullivan started the match on the wing, having trained there across summer. But he also pushed into a more natural role in defence and spent periods of the second half matched against back-to-back Coleman Medal winner Charlie Curnow. Mature-aged recruit Shaun Mannagh only played the second half.

Switching positions

Geelong improvised with a couple of positional changes, with Max Holmes and Mitch Duncan spending the majority of the match across half-back. Holmes showcased his run and drive in his new role and even spent stints in the midfield, while Duncan added some composure and took kick-in duties at various stages across the game. Carlton trialled new recruit Elijah Hollands in the midfield, while Sam Docherty also continued to spend large periods of the match in an onball role.

Injury watch

Cam Guthrie (quad) will be the big injury concern for Geelong, having limped from the field after just six seconds on Thursday. Aside from that, the Cats named an almost full-strength squad with Gary Rohan (back) one of the few absentees after he was managed. Carlton gun Sam Walsh (back) is in a race against the clock to be fit for Opening Round and won't play in next week's practice match against Melbourne, either. Jack Martin (knee) is also in doubt, while Jacob Weitering (calf) has already been ruled out. Small forward duo Corey Durdin (hamstring) and Matt Owies (calf) are also 50/50 to be back in time for Opening Round.

Fantasy tempters

Geelong youngster Max Holmes (MID, $685,000) looks as though he will find plenty of the footy in his newfound role across half-back, while he also went into the midfield on occasions throughout the second half. Jhye Clark (MID, $237,000) could also be one to watch, with the former first-round pick looking destined to add to his solitary substitute appearance last season. Ashton Moir (FWD, $216,000) could get some early footy for Carlton, having impressed in the forward line. He could even steal the spot of Orazio Fantasia (FWD, $269,000) who was quiet in attack.

CARLTON     2.5     4.5     6.8     8.8 (56)
GEELONG     5.1    7.4     8.5     10.13 (73)

Carlton: Moir 2, McKay 2, Motlop, Cripps, O.Hollands, Curnow
Geelong: Hawkins 2, Miers 2, O.Henry 2, Neale, Cameron, Dempsey, Dangerfield


2. Lachlan Cowan, 3. Jesse Motlop, 4. Ollie Hollands, 5. Adam Cerra, 8. Lachie Fogarty, 9. Patrick Cripps, 10. Harry McKay, 11. Mitch McGovern, 12. Tom De Koning, 13. Blake Acres, 14. Orazio Fantasia, 15. Sam Docherty, 16. Jack Carroll, 17. Brodie Kemp, 20. Elijah Hollands, 24. Nic Newman, 28. David Cuningham, 29. George Hewett, 30. Charlie Curnow, 31. Harry Lemmey, 33. Lewis Young, 37. Jordan Boyd, 39. Alex Cincotta, 42. Adam Saad, 43. Ashton Moir, 46. Matthew Cottrell

Notable absentees: Jacob Weitering, Jack Martin, Zac Williams, Jack Silvagni, Sam Walsh, Matthew Kennedy, Caleb Marchbank, Marc Pittonet, Matthew Owies


1. Rhys Stanley, 2. Zach Tuohy, 3. Brandan Parfitt, 4. Tanner Bruhn, 5. Jeremy Cameron, 6. Toby Conway, 7. Shaun Mannagh, 8. Jake Kolodjashnij, 9. Max Holmes, 10. Mitch Knevitt, 12. Jack Bowes, 13. Jhye Clark, 14. Connor O'Sullivan, 15. George Stevens, 16. Sam De Koning, 17. Lawson Humphries, 18. Tyson Stengle, 19. Phoenix Foster, 20. James Willis, 21. Oli Wiltshire, 22. Mitch Duncan, 24. Jed Bews, 26. Tom Hawkins, 28. Oliver Dempsey, 29. Cam Guthrie, 30. Tom Atkins, 31. Oscar Murdoch, 32. Gryan Miers, 33. Shannon Neale, 34. Oisin Mullin, 35. Patrick Dangerfield, 36. Oliver Henry, 38. Jack Henry, 39. Zach Guthrie, 40. Ted CLohesy, 41. Mitch Hardie, 42. Mark O'Connor, 43. Emerson Jeka, 44. Tom Stewart, 45. Brad Close, 46. Mark Blicavs

Absentees: Gary Rohan, Mitch Edwards, Joe Furphy