|Date:||6.10 pm,Thursday, 25 March|
|Result:||Won by 56 points|
|Goalkickers:||C. Yarran 3, E. Betts 3, S. O'hAilpin 3, J. Waite 2, B. Gibbs 2, M. Murphy 2, B. McLean, K. Simpson, L. Henderson 1|
|Umpires:||S. Ryan, B. Rosebury, H. Ryan|
Game ReviewThe long awaited return of footy was over. Only days after the stumps had been withdrawn from the hallowed MCG turf (following Victoria’s resounding shield cricket victory) the goal posts had been erected and normal service had resumed.
Truth be told it still felt like cricket season. A balmy 29 degree evening in March, players buff and bronzed as if straight from the beach, and no sign of Juddy or Fev. Surely this wasn’t the real stuff? But as the huge clock on the scoreboard counted down the final seconds to lift-off and the umpire smashed the ball into the turf, the erupting crowd knew season 2010 was well and truly underway.
With the eternity that was pre-season finished and the new recruits settled into their lockers the team was bound to take significantly different shape to that which had so painfully bowed out early last September. Missing from that finals loss were a host of names - Judd, Stevens, Wiggins, Cloke, Armfield, Grigg, Hampson, Garlett and Fevola. In for their Carlton debut were Robert Warnock, Brock McLean and Lachlan Henderson and captaining them in Judd’s absence was Andrew Carazzo, running out for the 100th time.
Much of the pre-season column space had been spent musing over how Carlton’s goals might be conjured. They needn’t have worried. By the 13 minute mark the Blues’ fifth had sailed through, the lead was 28 points and resting heart rates of Carlton supporters everywhere had returned to somewhere near normal. Jarrad Waite made his return from knee surgery in the best possible fashion with a strong mark and goal in the first minute (for the second season in a row he kicked the opening goal for the competition). His was followed soon after by Lachlan Henderson doing much the same for the second (hopefully the first of many in navy blue) and the Blues were away. Slick ball movement, neat disposal and sure hands in the first 15 minutes made the Blues look untouchable and for the shell-shocked Tigers it was déjà vu all over again.
A seven goal quarter was the perfect tonic to kick-off the season, but the Blues didn’t have it all their own way. Each of the first two quarters was acted out in similar fashion with the Blues opening strongly, dominating play and scoring relatively freely for 15 minutes or so. Then the tempo would change, a few turnovers would creep in and the Tigers would edge back into the game and stay within reach. When the half-time siren sounded, the Tigers had clawed it back to 19 points and the game was still up for grabs.
The second half was much less of a spectacle. The quality of disposal deteriorated, the pace slowed and the game became quite scrappy in patches, though it still had its moments. Andrew Carazzo continued to accumulate possession at will (ending with 40 for the night) while Matthew Kreuzer and Robert Warnock dominated the ruck contests, Kreuzer in particular providing amazing contested efforts time and again. Jordan Russell gave plenty of run and drive from half back and Heath Scotland seemed to have a double-coating of the goanna oil as he remained elusive to the chasing Tigers, bumping, bobbing and side-stepping his way through heavy traffic on several occasions. Up forward Eddie Betts looked in magnificent condition and presented plenty of leads on his way to three goals. Setanta O’hAilpin also managed three, and could’ve had more, but looked to offer another legitimate target particularly on the lead.
Carlton’s defence held firm all night and keeping that unit together for the majority of games this year will go a long way towards shaping a good season. Up forward six multiple goal scorers was a small reward for plenty of off-season work in that area, but the new structures will surely get a much more challenging test over the coming month against tougher more seasoned defences. The 56 point final margin was probably a reasonable reflection of the night’s proceedings and got the Blues off to the start that most pundits expected.
In terms of milestones, Carlton scored its 750th century score (100+ points in a match). Acting captain Andrew Carrazzo led from the front in his 100th game, while Bret Thornton brought up his 150th match.
|B:||32 Bret Thornton||40 Michael Jamison||45 Aaron Joseph|
|HB:||33 Ryan Houlihan||18 Paul Bower||2 Jordan Russell|
|C:||6 Kade Simpson||7 Brock McLean||4 Bryce Gibbs|
|HF:||12 Mitch Robinson||23 Lachlan Henderson||13 Chris Yarran|
|F:||17 Setanta O'hAilpin||30 Jarrad Waite||19 Eddie Betts|
|Ruck:||8 Matthew Kreuzer||29 Heath Scotland||44 Andrew Carrazzo (a/c)|
|Interchange:||1 Andrew Walker||3 Marc Murphy||11 Robert Warnock|
|26 Joe Anderson|
|Emg:||16 Shaun Grigg, 39 Sam Jacobs, 24 Kane Lucas|
Milestones150 Games : Bret Thornton, who became the 8th youngest Blue to reach this milestone, and displaced Wayne Harmes from the top 10.
100 Games : Andrew Carrazzo
Debut (Carlton) : Lachlan Henderson, Brock McLean, Robert Warnock
Acting Captain : Andrew Carrazzo led the Blues in Chris Judd's absence
Brownlow Votes3. Heath Scotland, Carlton
2. Andrew Carrazzo, Carlton
1. Bryce Gibbs, Carlton
Best & Fairest Votes43 Andrew Carrazzo, 38 Matthew Kreuzer, 36 Eddie Betts, 34 Bryce Gibbs, 34 Heath Scotland, 23 Ryan Houlihan. 18 Jordan Russell, 13 Marc Murphy, 10 Aaron Joseph, 9 Chris Yarran, 7 Brock McLean, 6 Kade Simpson
2010 | Round 2