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Round 1, 2012         Carlton defeated Richmond by 44 points in a welcome return to Football. We'd missed you, Blues!

Round 1, 2012

Carlton 3.2 20 8.7 55 11.13 79 18.17 125
Richmond 3.4 22 5.6 36 10.7 67 12.9 81
Venue: MCG (Thursday Night)
Date: March 29, 2012
Result: Won by 44 points
Crowd: 78,285
Goalkickers: Hampson 3, Betts 2, Armfield 2, Yarran 2, Lucas 2, Waite, Simpson, Garlett, Thornton, Kreuzer, Murphy, Robinson 1.
Reports: J. Waite (rough conduct - cleared)
Umpires: C. Donlon, L. Farmer, S. Meredith
Injuries: Nil
Ladder: 4th


Game Review

The long footy-free summer and winless pre-season were behind us - replaced by a glorious autumnal evening, the MCG's pristine turf and the growing tradition of an opening round clash against the Tigers. The seemingly eternal wait for real footy dragged the punters from their couches in great numbers (particularly the Richmond faithful) as ever brimming with optimism, sadly for some perhaps unfounded.

Much of the build up to the Thursday night clash focussed on who was missing for the Blues. A less than full-strength back six was named and seen as the area of the ground most likely to present the Blues with concern. Michael Jamison and Nick Duigan were the most notable absentees from the defence, but somewhat miraculously, Jeremy Laidler appeared just weeks after a sickening dislocation of his kneecap. His mere presence helped to shore things up on paper. Paul Bower was taking a solid pre-season into the game and hopes were pinned on he, and perhaps Jordan Russell, filling the void left by the regular first choice defenders. Andrew Walker and Robert Warnock were also missing, still recovering from injury, while Kane Lucas got an opportunity (as the substitute) after having the best pre-season of his three since being drafted.

Two early goals to Richmond threw fuel on the fire that was their optimism and had both the blaze and their fans roaring. Carlton's brittle looking defence was on the back foot from the opening bounce though there were high hopes for Lachie Henderson and his task on Riewoldt. Jeff Garlett sparked the Blues' opener with some characteristic chase and harassment. His tackle and subsequent free-kick gave Eddie Betts the freedom to run into an open goal, untouched, and the Blues were away. The second came soon after when a booming drop punt from a Zach Tuohy kick in ended up with Kade Simpson. He broke free and then ran the ball up field before hitting Dennis Armfield with a pin-point pass as he streamed towards goal and finished truly. Jarrad Waite made it three in a row after a strong mark and goal from a Garlett setup, after earlier having customarily gone in the umpire's book. The Tigers responded almost instantly to give them a narrow lead as the quarter drew to a close.

Illustration: http://www.samcrook.com
The intensity lifted at the start of the second with the Blues the main protagonists. The ball spent lengthy periods in the Carlton forward half early on as the Blues applied plenty of pressure but, frustratingly, they were unable to capitalise. Bret Thornton was getting his hands on the ball as a forward but missed two gettable shots in a run of five consecutive behinds for Carlton at the start of the term. As is so often the way, Richmond made the most of an opportunity forward against the run of play to reclaim a narrow lead. That goal appeared as merely a blip on the radar with the Blues clicking up a gear and running out the quarter much the better of the two. Chris Yarran oozed class as he punched through a wonderful 50m kick off a couple of steps in traffic (having received from Betts) to start the run. Betts then got one of his own, as did Simpson, while Armfield got a second from close range. The run of goals was finished with a beauty from Garlett. Snapping from near the boundary line on his right, he curled it home nicely in the final minute of the half to give the Blues a 19-point break at half time.

Whatever Brett Ratten said at half time seemed to strike a chord with Shaun Hampson. He marked strongly twice in the opening minutes, finishing his own work nicely from the first and unselfishly dishing off to Thornton for the second to kick start the Blues and push the lead beyond five goals. Marc Murphy continued his dominance around the ground, collecting possessions seemingly at will, while Bryce Gibbs played the spare defender role to a tee. Richmond weren't done with yet and responded with four of the last five for the quarter, Matthew Kreuzer's powerful pack mark and goal from 30m breaking the sequence. The Tigers' run had narrowed the gap to just 12 points at the final change. They were still very much alive, and in the contest.

Garlett had the first chance of the final term, his narrow miss from a boundary line set-shot allowed Richmond a momentary sigh of relief. When the Tigers snagged the opening goal of the final term (Riewoldt's third) two minutes later, the game was anyone's. By the time Riewoldt kicked Richmond's next goal, some twenty minutes had elapsed and the Blues had slammed home five majors to put the game beyond question. Kane Lucas was energetic, having discarded the lime-green vest and finished nicely from a set shot to steady the nerves. As far as game changing moments go, Chris Yarran timed his to perfection. Displaying his signature run and carry from the wing, he ran along the boundary tight-rope evading two defenders, bouncing away with the acceleration he seems able to call on at will, before veering slightly inboard and calmly slotting the kick from 40m - an early contender for Goal of the Year. The procession continued with Murphy claiming his first neatly from the set shot, followed by Hampson (from a free kick) and Lucas crumbing beautifully for his second in the term. The Blues finished with an emphatic seven for the term, Mitch Robinson with the icing in the final minute of his 50th game. A comfortable 44 point victory to dust off the cobwebs was just what the doctor ordered.

Note: Somehow we've made it this far without mentioning Chris Judd. The great man was quiet-ish by his lofty standards, but played an extremely solid game, accumulating 26 possession and featuring in most pundits' list of best players.

An interesting sideline to this match is that ex-Carlton and Essendon player Jordan Bannister umpired his first game as a League field umpire in the round 1 match between North Melbourne and Essendon at the Dome, joining the other 40 known ex-League players who also became field umpires. Five of these played for Carlton - Bob Boyle (who umpired 59 games between 1907 and 1915), Charlie Curtis (1 game in 1910), Billy Leeds (2 games in 1904, before returning to the field for the Blues), Bill McNamara (3 games between 1906 and 1908) and George Topping (3 games in 1913, while he was serving a suspension. He too, later returned and played more games for Carlton).

Subs: Lucas replaced Russell during the last quarter and went on to scored his first two goals for Carlton.

Team


B: 18 Paul Bower 23 Lachlan Henderson 2 Jordan Russell
HB: 13 Chris Yarran15 Jeremy Laidler 4 Bryce Gibbs
C: 29 Heath Scotland 5 Chris Judd (C) 6 Kade Simpson
HF: 38 Jeffery Garlett 30 Jarrad Waite 3 Marc Murphy
F: 19 Eddie Betts 22 Shaun Hampson 32 Bret Thornton
Ruck:8 Matthew Kreuzer 12 Mitch Robinson 44 Andrew Carrazzo
Interchange: 27 Dennis Armfield 35 Ed Curnow 42 Zac Tuohy
Substitute: 9 Kane Lucas
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 14 Brock McLean, 16 Andrew Collins, 31 Marcus Davies


Milestones

50 Games: Mitch Robinson
50 Games (AFL): Lachlan Henderson
100 Goals: Jeffery Garlett
First Goal(s): Kane Lucas
Interesting Fact: For the first time since 2001, Carlton entered a round 1 fixture without a player on debut. Richmond also scored 12.9.81 when they last met in 2011.
Interesting Fact: Former Blue Jordan Bannister umpired his first game at AFL level in this round (note, not this game).

Brownlow Votes

3. Matthew Kreuzer, Carlton
2. Chris Yarran, Carlton
1. Marc Murphy, Carlton

Best & Fairest Votes

Andrew Carrazzo 40, Marc Murphy 38, Matthew Kreuzer 36, Bryce Gibbs 35, Jeremy Laidler 30, Kade Simpson 27, Dennis Armfield 26, Chris Yarran 26, Jeffery Garlett 6, Shaun Hampson 5, Chris Judd 5

Ladder


Pos Team P W D L For Agn % Pts
1 Sydney 1 1 0 0 100 37 270.27 4
2 Adelaide 1 1 0 0 137 68 201.47 4
3 West Coast 1 1 0 0 136 87 156.32 4
4 Carlton 1 1 0 0 125 81 154.32 4
5 Brisbane Lions 1 1 0 0 119 78 152.56 4
6 Hawthorn 1 1 0 0 137 115 119.13 4
7 Port Adelaide 1 1 0 0 89 85 104.71 4
8 Fremantle 1 1 0 0 105 101 103.96 4
9 Essendon 1 1 0 0 104 102 101.96 4
10 North Melbourne 1 0 0 1 102 104 98.08 0
11 Geelong 1 0 0 1 101 105 96.19 0
12 St Kilda 1 0 0 1 85 89 95.51 0
13 Collingwood 1 0 0 1 115 137 83.94 0
14 Melbourne 1 0 0 1 78 119 65.55 0
15 Richmond 1 0 0 1 81 125 64.80 0
16 Western Bulldogs 1 0 0 1 87 136 63.97 0
17 Gold Coast 1 0 0 1 68 137 49.64 0
18 GWS Giants 1 0 0 1 37 100 37.00 0


Game
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Agst Rich Bris Coll
Ess
Frem Gws St.Kilda Adel Melb Port Geel
W.Cst
Carl
125
                     
Opp
81
                     
Posn
4
                     
% 154.3                      
Game
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
 
Agst BYE Haw Coll N.Melb W.Bull Rich Sydney Bris Ess G.Cst St.Kilda  
Posn                        
%                        


Articles: Footy Almanac's Viewpoint on the Game


2012 | Round 2

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