GEELONG superstar Patrick Dangerfield got through unscathed as Collingwood draftee Ollie Henry put his hand up for round one in Friday's practice match at GMHBA Stadium.
Dangerfield flew for several marks and exploded from packs, showing no signs of the troublesome groin injury that delayed his pre-season before he was subbed out at half-time of the Cats' two-point win.
AAMI COMMUNITY SERIES Check out the pre-season fixture
The Brownlow medallist was then sent for extra running with boom recruit Jeremy Cameron, the pair not required after the main break in the 11.8 (74) to 11.6 (72) result.
Scores were level late in the last quarter, the Cats edging in front with a behind before first-year Cat Shannon Neale and Pies tall Mason Cox kicked the final two goals.
Pie Jamie Elliott booted three goals switching as a midfield/forward, while Henry impressed in attack with one major as he threw himself at plenty of contests.
Ruckman Brodie Grundy covered the ground well and looked back in All-Australian form as one of the Pies' best.
Skipper Scott Pendlebury was taken out at the final break and had ice applied behind his left knee, while Brody Mihocek left the field midway through the final term - both finishing the game on the bench as precautions after lower leg knocks.
Cameron booted the opening goal of the contest inside 90 seconds in his first outing in Cats colours, the ex-Giant moving freely in attack in a sign he's overcome the hamstring strain he suffered in January.
Cats ruckman Rhys Stanley copped a heavy hit late in the second term, with Geelong forced to use Josh Jenkins and second-year utility Sam De Koning in the ruck after half-time.
The Pies started Darcy Cameron deep in attack before he was replaced by Cox, the American joining Trent Bianco, Nathan Murphy and Levi Greenwood in playing only the second half.
The Cats used more than 30 players across the match, with Tom Stewart joining Dangerfield and Cameron for extra drills on the neighbouring St Mary's Oval at half-time.
Cameron rotated between the goalsquare and centre half-forward with Tom Hawkins (two goals) in the Cats' first look at the Cats' Coleman Medal combo. The ex-Giant kicked the first goal before heading for extra running at half-time. Shaun Higgins looked his typically silky self and played exclusively as a half-forward before he was put on ice at the final break. Triple premiership Hawk Isaac Smith sat out after a rolled ankle at training midweek but is expected to play next week.
Henry wasted little time impacting his first game as a Pie, taking a one-handed mark on the wing in the opening minutes drawing praise from Dangerfield. Bianco was used after half-time as a midfielder. Cats forward Francis Evans bobbed up with two goals and looked dangerous inside forward 50 as he searches for an AFL debut in his second campaign. Ben Jarvis started in attack alongside Cameron and Hawkins but didn't have much say on the outcome. De Koning (forward/ruck) and Nick Stevens (defence) were used after half-time with Neale, Stefan Okunbor and Nathan Kreuger thrown on late.
Jack Henry watches on as his younger brother Ollie kicks a goal for the Pies pic.twitter.com/YgzXfcnLlj— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) February 26, 2021
Round one bolters
Brayden Sier staked his claim for extra midfield minutes, starting in the opening centre bounce alongside Pendlebury, Josh Daicos and Brodie Grundy. Sier played three matches last season but will be eyeing extra minutes vacated by Adam Treloar's departure. Four-game Pie Trey Ruscoe booted two goals as he pushes his case.
With Daicos deployed as an inside midfielder and Chris Mayne out with concussion, John Noble and Jack Crisp pushed onto the wing. The pair were used in a rotation with Tyler Brown and later Nathan Murphy. Geelong used Zach Guthrie further up the field with former forward Tom Atkins continuing his progression in defence.
Speedster Jordan Clark will be one to watch in the Cats' AAMI Community Series clash with Essendon after spending the bulk of Friday stationed on a wing. Reduced to three games last season, the 20-year-old is itching for more game time in the early stages. Smooth-moving Pie Isaac Quaynor got better as the game wore on and looks to have earned himself a regular spot at half-back.
On the comeback trail
Jeremy Howe played a full game in his first hitout back from last year's season-ending knee injury and looked composed in defence teaming with Jordan Roughead and Darcy Moore in the key posts. Howe will be better for the run as he pushes towards a round one return.
Irishman Zach Tuohy was set to play but was pulled out late after back spasms in the warm-up. Mitch Duncan (calf) and Luke Dahlhaus (groin) watched on as they race the clock for round one, while Esava Ratugolea was in the stands after a recent leg knock. Jordan De Goey (rolled ankle) didn't make the trip down the highway, while Taylor Adams (hamstring) missed but has been training strongly as he returns to full fitness.