No.1 draft pick Paddy McCartin gave St Kilda a scare when he hurt his hamstring during their AFL pre-season loss to North Melbourne.
The preliminary finalists for the past two years overpowered a young Saints lineup 18.9 (117) to 1.9.10 (73) on Saturday in hot conditions at Wangaratta.
McCartin was not seen after quarter time, but coach Alan Richardson says the second-year player’s absence was only precautionary.
“He’s given his hamstring a bit of a tweak,” Richardson told Fox Footy.
“We’re obviously going to be pretty conservative, given we’re at the start of the NAB (Challenge).”
North’s Kayne Turner also was forced out of the game early with hamstring tightness.
Ruckman Majak Daw and forward Mason Wood impressed for the Kangaroos, who overpowered the Saints in the second term.
Wood and Drew Petrie kicked four goals apiece, and Hawthorn recruit Jed Anderson also stood out after halftime.
Ryan Clarke was the second pick for North in the 2015 national draft and he showed plenty of pace through the midfield.
Saints midfielder Jack Billings was prominent when they briefly led early in the second quarter, but he and Jack Steven were rested in the second half.
North were missing Todd Goldstein, Nick Dal Santo, Lachie Hansen and Daniel Wells.
But the Saints were fielding a much less experienced lineup, given captain Nick Riewoldt, Leigh Montagna, Sam Fisher and David Armitage were among those sitting out the game.
Once North blunted St Kilda’s second-term challenge, the result was a formality.
Saints midfielder Seb Ross was the most prolific ball winner for the match, with 26 possessions.