1. New Dogs slot in 

James Harmes, Nick Coffield and Lachie Bramble were among the host of Dogs’ recruits who took to the field in the first match simulation, with the trio slotting in near seamlessly.

Harmes was a welcome addition to the midfield, particularly with starters Marcus Bontempelli and Adam Treloar held over for the second hit-out, while Coffield and Bramble had some nice moments.

2. Youngsters impress

What might excite Bulldogs’ fans most is the growth among the up-and-coming youngsters.

Lachie McNeil (four goals), Luke Cleary, Harvey Gallagher and Sam Darcy each impressed in the early match, along with draftee Ryley Sanders who starred in his first outing in the red, white and blue.

3. Dogs’ stunning run

A well-documented focus of the Bulldogs’ pre-season was stopping opposition runs of momentum and put that to effect in the first match simulation.

A heavy breeze favouring the Barkly St end saw the Hawks come within two points in the third, before the Bulldogs piled on the next eight goals.

We know it’s not the season proper yet, but there’s no denying some promising signs early.

4. Bont still a class above

It might be comparing apples and oranges, given the Hawks fielded mostly VFL players in the second match simulation, but Marcus Bontempelli looks primed to back up his 2023 campaign.

The skipper picked up his footy exactly where he left off, connecting with All Australian ruck Tim English very nicely at centre bounces.

5. New role for Flea

Speaking of the second-match midfield, Cody Weightman was a new addition to the mix.

The 23-year-old goal-sneak spent majority of his time in the middle, allowing second-year Dog Charlie Clarke to maximise his time in the forward-50.