Carlton's No.1 draft pick Sam Walsh has capped his strong AFL pre-season by nearly kicking the match winner against arch-rivals Collingwood.
Walsh had a shot from 50m with two minutes left on Monday at Morwell, but he did not quite make the distance and the Blues were shaded by four points.
There was plenty to like about Walsh and the Blues on Monday against last year's grand finalists.
Walsh, who had 23 disposals in Morwell, has impressed throughout his first pre-season and he surely will debut in the March 21 season-opening blockbuster against Richmond.
"He's really capable ... he's come in (with) an appetite to learn, an appetite to grow," assistant coach John Barker said.
The Blues kicked four goals to two in the last quarter and drew level, before Josh Thomas kicked his third goal to restore Collingwood's lead.
"There's some real positives to take out of today from our point of view, regardless of the final score," Barker said.
"There's parts of our system that are standing up at the moment, even though there's still a lot of growth in a number of parts of the way we play and the mechanics of what we do.
"But their gelling together, their synergy just continues to grow."
Liam Stocker, the player at the centre of last year's controversial draft trade with Adelaide, travelled to Morwell but did not play.
Patrick Cripps starred in the midfield and Liam Jones was solid in defence for the Blues, while Harry McKay kicked three goals.
Barker said No.1 ruckman Matthew Kreuzer has increased his training ahead of the start of the season.
Recruit Alex Fasolo also played on the weekend in the VFL.