|Date:||Thursday March 23, 2017|
|Result:||Lost by 43 points|
|Goalkickers:||J. Weitering 3, M. Wright 3, M. Kreuzer 2, J. Silvagni 2, L. Casboult, B. Gibbs, D. Armfield, D. Thomas 1.|
|Umpires:||S. Hay, M. Nicholls, M. Stevic|
Game ReviewFor the fifth year in a row, Carlton was beaten by Richmond in this traditional first night game of the 2017 season, played on a Thursday night at the MCG. In a high-scoring, yet one-sided match, a new-look Blues defence couldn’t hold the speedy Tigers, who won by 43 points in front of a crowd of just over 73,000.
Both teams blooded new recruits, with four new faces in the Tiger line-up, and five on debut for Carlton. Overall, the Blues made a total of eight changes to the team that had last represented the club in a dismal loss to finish 2016. For a whole raft of reasons, Zach Tuohy, Liam Jones, Dylan Buckley, Liam Sumner, Nick Graham, Andrew Phillips, David Cuningham and Sam Kerridge were not in the team, and Jed Lamb was a late withdrawal.
Into the side came captain Marc Murphy and gritty midfielder Ed Curnow – both making a welcome return from injury - joined by Ed’s younger brother Charlie, along with recruits Caleb Marchbank, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Jarrod Pickett and Billie Smedts. When Lamb was ruled out late in the afternoon, Harrison Macreadie was called up, and became the fifth first-gamer for the Blues.
Both teams ran out to a huge roar from the pumped-up crowd, and the match began in frantic fashion. Playing bold, confident football, the Tigers slammed on the first three goals of the match before the Blues steadied and opened their account through Matthew Kreuzer. Carlton’s big number 8 was on top in the ruck, but Richmond were dominant around the stoppages, where the unmistakeable figure of their heavily-tattooed midfield gun Dustin Martin was already having a big influence. Carlton’s attack relied on a re-jigged forward set-up, with Jacob Weitering and Levi Casboult in the key posts, supported by Jack Silvagni and Matt Wright. At quarter-time the siren halted a fast, open contest that had already produced 11 goals, seven of them to the Tigers.
The second quarter opened with another Richmond onslaught. When Martin kicked his third goal of the match at the 15-minute mark, the Tigers had the game by the throat and led by 44 points. Weitering’s smart lead to a pass by Silvagni provided a belated reply by Carlton, but then Jake limped off the field after a heavy knock to his hip and Bluebagger hearts sank. Despite some individual brilliance from Murphy, who set up Carlton’s seventh major by Silvagni late in the term, at half-time the gap was still more than six goals and Richmond was growing in confidence.
Still, Carlton’s spirits lifted when Weitering ran back out for the third quarter, and the Blues launched a spirited fightback. With Murphy leading by example, Carlton kicked five goals straight for the term, while Richmond squandered their opportunities and added 2.6. Long goals to Kreuzer and Casboult were highlights, as was the fierce tackle by Wright that produced another.
At three-quarter time, the home side seemed to be back in the contest, trailing by 25 points until the Tigers slammed the door to victory shut with two majors in the first five minutes of the final term. After that, the Blues ran out of legs, and as the clock ticked into the last minutes of the match, Martin snapped his fourth goal across his left shoulder from 40 metres out. Former Blue Shaun Grigg then iced the Tiger cake with Richmond’s 20th major, and Carlton’s season was away to an all too familiar start.
Best for the Blues on a night when supporters’ optimism was sorely tested yet again were skipper Murphy (35 disposals, 18 contested) Gibbs, Kreuzer, Simpson and Docherty. Defender Lachie Plowman (20 disposals at 95% efficiency, 10 marks and 12 one-percenters) played perhaps his best game for the club, whilst Sam Rowe kept the Tigers’ spearhead Jack Riewoldt to just a few possessions and one goal.
More importantly, all of the Blues’ first-gamers showed something, especially Marchbank, whose 19 disposals included 10 contested possessions and 8 marks. Pickett’s dash stood out, and Petrevski-Seton’s clean ball-handling and appetite for the contest at least provided some consolation for Carlton’s long-suffering supporters.
|B:||22 Caleb Marchbank||20 Lachie Plowman||15 Sam Docherty|
|HB:||6 Kade Simpson (vc)||17 Sam Rowe||26 Harrison Macreadie|
|C:||35 Ed Curnow||4 Bryce Gibbs||39 Dale Thomas|
|HF:||46 Matthew Wright||1 Jack Silvagni||27 Dennis Armfield|
|F:||33 Jarrod Pickett||41 Levi Casboult||23 Jacob Weitering|
|Ruck:||8 Matthew Kreuzer||9 Patrick Cripps||3 Marc Murphy (c)|
|Interchange:||5 Sam Petrevski-Seton||16 Billie Smedts||30 Charlie Curnow|
|43 Simon White|
|Emg:||11 Sam Kerridge, 13 Jed Lamb , 24 Rhys Palmer|
-*Harrison Macreadie replaced Jed Lamb in the selected side
Matthew Wright started the game off the back of the centre square
Patrick Cripps changed to number 11 for the last quarter
MilestonesDebut: Harrison Macreadie, Jarrod Pickett & Sam Petrevski-Seton
Debut (Carlton): Caleb Marchbank & Billie Smedts
Brownlow Votes3. Dustin Martin (RIC)
2. Dion Prestia (RIC)
1. Marc Murphy (CAR)
Best & Fairest Votes (5 votes+)Matthew Kreuzer 10, Marc Murphy, 10, Matthew Wright 10, Lachie Plowman 9, Sam Rowe 9, Jacob Weitering 7
Season 2017 | Round 2