Goalkickers: NINE POINT: E Betts 1
SIX POINT: B Fevola 5, J Kennedy 1, L Whitnall 1, M Lappin 1, N Stevens 1, R Houlihan 1
While some sides treat the NAB Cup as a practice run and rest most of their stars, this clash between the two arch rivals was played with all the intensity of a regular game, with both sides determined to make up for poor 2006 seasons. Both went in with their best possible line ups, with very few regular players missing. The Bombers went in as favourites but the Blues would continue their tradition of upsetting their arch rivals by less than a kick.
The Blues started the better and were playing with greater skill, purpose and intensity than in 2006. Just before half time they held a 38 point lead but 2 late goals to the Bombers brought the margin back to 22 points. They struggled to maintain their intensity in the second half, while the Bombers lifted theirs but unlike so many occasions in 2006, managed to hold on to record a 4 point victory, thanks to vital last quarter goals from the experienced Nick Stevens and Matthew Lappin. A couple of errors deep in defence in the last quarter kept the Bombers closer than we would have liked (Alwyn Davey converted only one of the two), but the Blues would prevail.
2006 Coleman medalist Brendan Fevola picked up from where he left off, kicking 5 of his team's 11 goals, the only multiple goal scorer. Jarrad Waite made a promising start to a new role at centre half back, reading the play well and providing plenty of rebound, while keeping Lucas quiet. Setanta Ó hAilpín looked like he had a future at full back, keeping Lloyd to just 2 goals. Ryan Houlihan with 25 possessions and Andrew Carrazzo with 23 were the major ball winners.
Goalkickers: NINE POINT: M Murphy 1 SIX POINT: B Fevola 2, C Ackland 2, A Carrazzo 2, J Kennedy 1, B Fisher 1 & E Betts 1
After an even first quarter, the Blues gained the ascendency in the second term, taking a 10 point lead at half time. They remained slightly ahead (8 points) at the final change but a 'supergoal' from the Hawks early in the final quarter tied the scores up. The Blues responded with Andrew Carrazzo kicking an important pressure goal, his second for the game, to run out 7 point winners and advance to the semi finals.
Nick Stevens led the midfield with 29 disposals, while Marc Murphy had 23 classy possessions (15 contested), including a 'supergoal' from outside 50m.
It was the first time from their six meetings that Carlton had defeated Hawthorn in a "Night/Pre-Season" match (two of these defeats had been in the 'Night' grand finals of 1977 and 1986). It was also the third time that they had played in Tasmania in a "Night/Pre-Season" match for Carlton's second win, the only defeat was in 1998 but the first in Launceston and under lights- the other two games played at the North Hobart oval during the day.
1 Andrew Walker
17 Setanta Ó hAilpín
32 Bret Thornton
33 Ryan Houlihan
30 Jarrad Waite
29 Heath Scotland
12 Matthew Lappin
24 Nick Stevens
2 Jordan Russell
14 Brad Fisher
8 Lance Whitnall
3 Marc Murphy
19 Eddie Betts
25 Brendan Fevola
5 Josh Kennedy
11 Cain Ackland
44 Andrew Carrazzo
6 Kade Simpson
43 Anthony Koutoufides
9 Jason Saddington
4 Bryce Gibbs
7 Adam Bentick
28 Cameron Cloke
38 Ryan Jackson
2007 NAB Pre-Season Cup Semi-Final
Venue: Gold Coast Stadium (Night)
Date: Sat 10 March, 2007 (Night)
Result: Win by15 points
Umpires: R Chamberlain, S Grun, M Stevic, M Vozzo
Goalkickers: NINE POINT: B Fevola 1 SIX POINT: B Fevola 7 M Murphy 2 E Betts 2 B Fisher N Stevens 1
After an even one and a half quarters, the Kangaroos kicked 8 unanswered goals to take a 6 goal lead and seemed to have the game in control midway through the third quarter. But the Blues refused to give in and kicked the next 10 in a row to end up winning by 15 points and make their second Pre-season cup Grand Final in 3 years. The Roos were kept scoreless for all but the last minutes of the final quarter, such was the Blues domination.
Goalkickers: NINE POINT: B Fisher 1, A Carrazzo 1 SIX POINT: B Fevola 4, B Fisher 3, H Scotland, A Koutoufides, J Russell, N Stevens & L Whitnall 1
There was little in the game early, the Blues a little more efficient and the Lions gave away a 9 pointer from a 50 m penalty, which saw the Blues 8 points up at the first change, despite having fewer possessions and inside 50's. The Lions appeared to then take control and were 14 points up just before half time. But the Blues kicked 7 unanswered goals to take control of the match. The Lions fought back, to get within 12 points but the Blues had the answers and went on to score a 25 point victory, their second Pre-season Premiership in 3 years.
Nick Stevens earned his second Michael Tuck Medal for best afield in a pre-season grand final (the earlier one with his former club Port Adelaide in 2002) and fourth pre-season premiership (two each with Carlton and Port Adelaide) in a game high 26 possession performance. Marc Murphy was also prominent with 22 and both players also had the most tackles- 6. Setanta Ó hAilpín, with a little help from Carlton's promising new defensive unit (see below), was again able to shut down Lions' powerhouse Jonathan Brown. Up forward, Brad Fisher and Brendan Fevola each kicked 4 goals. Fevola has now scored 85 goals from his 22 'Night/preseason games' since his 12 goal debut against Collingwood in the Millennium match on New Years Eve 1999- the most of any Carlton player.
The big question now was whether the Blues could continue that form into the season proper, rather than see a repeat of what happened after its 2005 Pre-Season Premiership.
Carlton achieved several 'firsts' during this 2007 Pre-Season campaign:
It was the first time that they had defeated either Hawthorn or Brisbane in a Pre-season match, won a Pre-Season game in Queensland and the first time that they had won consecutive Pre-Season matches interstate, which were also against sides that either played or were going to play some of their 'home' matches at the venues that these matches were played.
To put Carlton’s win in perspective they defeated sides that had finished in the 2006 season in 11th and 13th to 15th positions on the League Ladder.
During the 2007 Pre-Season all except one match was won by the side that finished lower on the League Ladder after the 2006 Season, the exception was the Geelong and Port Adelaide game in Darwin that had the scores level at full time and extra time was played where Port blow two changes to win this game in the tropical downpour.