Smooth Dogs down Hawks in trial match

The Western Bulldogs have given their fans hope that last year was an aberration, downing Hawthorn by 22 points in their AFL pre-season clash in Ballarat.

After a see-sawing first half, the Dogs broke away in Saturday afternoon's third quarter to prevail 15.10 (100) to 11.12 (78) in front of 4565 fans at Mars Stadium.

Looking to bounce back after missing the finals last season for the first time since 2009, the Hawks led by 10 points at halftime but could only manage three goals in the second half.

The slick Dogs piled on five goals in the third term but lost veteran forward Liam Picken to concussion late in the quarter.

Picken was taken off on a stretcher after a collision with teammate Josh Dunkley but did not need to go to hospital.

"He doesn't know any other way, Picko. He's just full on and wants to make a contest," stand-in coach Daniel Giansiracusa said.

"We'll assess him throughout the week so, hopefully, he's all okay but at least he was up and about after it."

It was otherwise smooth sailing for the 2016 premiers, who had plenty to prove after limping last season to a 10th-placed finish.

Reigning best-and-fairest winner Marcus Bontempelli (25 disposals, seven inside-50s) was typically prolific in the midfield, while Dunkley slotted three majors.

Star recruit Josh Schache sat out the first half but didn't take long to make an impact, linking up with Jason Johannisen to boot his first goal early in the third term.

Tough midfielder Tom Liberatore, who struggled to keep his spot last season, was solid with 18 disposals and a goal.

Both sides fielded near full-strength teams for their opening trial, with Cyril Rioli, Grant Birchall and James Frawley among the notable omissions for Hawthorn.

Fringe key forward Ryan Schoenmakers slotted three goals, while Tom Mitchell (30 disposals, 10 clearances) was prolific as usual at the coalface.

Jaeger O'Meara finished with 16 touches but showed plenty of class and didn't appear to be restricted by the knee issues that kept him to just six games last season.

And Hawks fans would have relished seeing the blistering speed on display from Port Adelaide recruit Jarman Impey.

"He's going to be pretty electric for us," coach Alastair Clarkson said.

"He'll provide a pretty potent forward line when Cyril returns with (Paul Puopolo) and Lukey Breust."