The Courier-Mail

Geelong’s big guns impress in trial win over Magpies

- GLENN MCFARLANE

GEELONG superstar Patrick Dangerfiel­d and boom recruit Jeremy Cameron quickly quelled fears they might not be ready for the Round 1 clash with Adelaide with impressive cameos in the Cats’ two-point win over Collingwoo­d at GMHBA Stadium on Friday.

It took the pair just over a minute to unite in a passage of play that started in Dangerfiel­d’s hands and ended in Cameron’s first goal in

Cats’ colours. The stands might have been silent on this occasion, but Cats’ fans must be salivating over how many times this can happen this year, and into the future.

Importantl­y, Dangerfiel­d showed no signs of the groin soreness that interrupte­d his pre-season and he played out two quarters with trademark zest, while Cameron looks to have recovered from a hamstring setback.

Both players played a half of football before moving across to a nearby oval where they completed some more running and skills work.

They now seem certain starters for the Adelaide Oval clash with the Crows on March 20.

“He looked good, didn’t he,” Geelong assistant coach Corey Enright said of Dangerfiel­d.

“He did what was expected of him. He is a pro and he looks to be right on track.

“Jezza … probably could have done a bit more and continued to play a few more minutes, but it is a part of his program now to play that amount of time.

“He went and had a good hitout across the road and he will look forward to Essendon.”

The Cats will take on the Bombers at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday wee,k with Rhys Stanley under a cloud after copping a knock in the second term.

Zach Tuohy was selected to play but felt some soreness in his back moments before the start and withdrew from the game.

MELBOURNE Storm forward Christian Welch believes the club’s decision to not bring the players back until January will reap rewards as it begins its quest for back-toback NRL titles today.

Storm, which will meet Newcastle in a trial game in Albury, are famous for their brutal pre-season training campaigns under the eye of Craig Bellamy.

Although, a

gruelling season spent entirely on the road mixed with a State of Origin series that finished in late November meant Storm’s pre-season did not start until the new year.

“I feel pretty refreshed,” Welch said. “I think it was pretty clever because I know Craig loves training and pre-season, but they kind of made a decision to not bring us back before Christmas. We came back in January and I think mentally all the boys are really fresh and they’ve put in the work away from the club.

“I think the hunger is there and I think every pre-season is so competitiv­e between the two training sides, and that’s what our club is built on.”

Storm will unleash their best possible team in Albury today as this will be their only full-scale hitout before the NRL season opener at AAMI Park on March 11.

Rising star Harry Grant will start in the No.9 jersey to kickstart the post Cameron Smith era, while premiershi­p centre Brenko Lee (hamstring tightness) will miss with Victorian product Dean Ieremia to start on the wing and recruit Reimis Smith moved across to the centres.

“Pretty much all the other clubs come back in November and December, so it’s a really important practice match because you can’t really make up for match fitness,” Welch said.

“I think we’ll be playing pretty close to a full strength team and probably play a few more minutes than you usually would.”

 ??  ?? Big name Cats recruit Jeremy Cameron.
Big name Cats recruit Jeremy Cameron.
 ??  ?? Melbourne Storm’s Christian Welch.
Melbourne Storm’s Christian Welch.

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