Jack Henry hurt as Cats belt Hawks to open pre-season

Premiership star Jack Henry is an injury scare for Geelong, hurting his foot in their AFL pre-season mauling of a young Hawthorn side.

Henry's injury was the only lowlight for the Cats on Thursday at GMHBA Stadium as they started the first round of inter-club hitouts with an 85-point belting.

Geelong's three key AFL trade recruits, including Henry's brother Ollie, all made promising starts in the 21.12 (138) to 7.11 (53) romp.

Also on Thursday, Essendon started life under new coach Brad Scott and newly-appointed captain Zach Merrett with a five-point win over Gold Coast.

Jack Henry had kicked two goals early for Geelong before he landed awkwardly and had to leave the field, with the extent of his injury unclear.

He missed two months of last season, also with a foot injury.

The premiership defender, who held Lance Franklin goal-less in last year's grand final, has also played in attack.

If fit, Henry could fill in for Tom Hawkins, who is recovering from foot surgery.

The two dress rehearsals were played under modified conditions, with the Cats and Hawks having four periods before switching over to their VFL squads.

The Bombers and Suns had four periods and then a shortened fifth in windy conditions on the outside field at Gold Coast's headquarters, with Essendon winning 11.14 (80) to 11.9 (75).

Ollie Henry, recruited from Collingwood, kicked four goals for Geelong as fellow recruits Taylor Bruhn (GWS) and Jack Bowes (Gold Coast) were prominent through the midfield.

Fringe key position player Esava Ratugolea also impressed in defence as premiership defender Sam De Koning spent time in attack.

Star key forward Jeremy Cameron also kicked four goals in the rout, while classy small forward Tyson Stengle had flashes of brilliance.

While it was only a dress rehearsal, it exposed the gulf in class and experience that the young Hawks must overcome if they are to be competitive this season.

They are rebuilding, with top onballers Jaeger O'Meara (Fremantle) and Tom Mitchell (Collingwood) gone and veteran forward Jack Gunston also moving to Brisbane.

Will Day and Jai Newcombe were lively and Dylan Moore kicked three goals, but the Hawks could not penetrate Geelong's rock-solid defence and were torched regularly on the rebound.

On the Gold Coast, the Suns led by 16 points early and it should have been more as Jack Lukosius and Sam Flanders impressed.

But Essendon kicked five goals to nil in the third period to take control and held on to their lead.

Essendon's Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti snapped a goal as he continues his return from last year's short-lived retirement, while father-son recruit Alwyn Davey Jnr was also lively after a quiet start.

Jye Menzie kicked three goals for the Bombers.

Essendon's rookie-listed prospect Patrick Voss produced one of the highlights of the hitout when he took a gutsy mark, running with the flight of the ball.