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VFL Blues end pre-season on winning note

VFL Highlights | Werribee Watch the highlights from Carlton listed players in the Northern Blues' final pre-season match against Werribee.

The Northern Blues secured a hard-fought 23-point win over Werribee at Arden Street Oval on Sunday morning.

After an even first half, the Blues finished strongly to come away with a 13. 10. (88) to 9. 11. (65) win in their final pre-season game.

Both sides went goal-for-goal in the game’s opening stages, with wastefulness from Werribee opening the door for two late Rhys Palmer goals to give Northern a four-point lead at quarter-time.

From there, the Blues got the ascendancy through the midfield, restricting Werribee to just five inside 50s for the quarter.

It was the tall forwards that got on top in the second term, with Harry McKay, Kristian Jaksch and Liam Jones all hitting the scoreboard, extending the lead to nine points at half-time.

The Blues continued to push away in the third term, not giving Werribee any time to get clean possession.

Able to push the margin beyond three goals, the Blues were able to answer immediately whenever Werribee hit the scoreboard and hold the home side at bay.

The game broke open in the final quarter and the Blues put the nail in the coffin early with successive goals.

The game was typified by the Blues’ pressure and their ability to counter-attack all day through the likes of Ciaran Sheehan, Mason Blakey and Glenn Strachan.

Rhys Palmer (23 disposals, three goals), Sam Kerridge (23 disposals, one goal) and Blaine Boekhorst (21 disposals, one goal) led the way in the middle.

In further positive news for the Blues, it marked a successful return to football for Andrew Gallucci.

Carlton rookie Andrew Gallucci made a successful return from injury via the Northern Blues. (Photo: Tim Murdoch)

Playing his first game in almost 12 months, Gallucci collected 12 disposals, kicked three goals and was a constant threat in the forward line.

It was a strong final hit-out for the Blues who will take the momentum into round one against Port Melbourne in the VFL season opener next Saturday at North Port Oval.

NORTHERN BLUES              4.2           7.5           10.9        13. 10. (88)
WERRIBEE TIGERS              
3.5           5.8           7.11        9. 11. (65)

GOALS: Palmer 3, Gallucci 3, Jaksch 2, McKay, Boekhorst, Jones, Kerridge and Korcheck