|Date:||Sunday July, 6, 2014 (1.10pm start)|
|Result:||Won by 85 points|
|Goalkickers:||L. Henderson 4, L. Casboult 4, S. White 4, C. Yarran 3, T. Menzel 2, A. Everitt 2, S. Docherty 2, C. Judd, T. Bell, R. Warnock 1.|
|Umpires:||J. Armstrong, T. Burgess, J. Schmitt|
|Injuries:||A. Carrazzo (quad), T. Menzel (left shoulder)|
Game ReviewAt last, Carlton’s five-game losing streak ended when the resurgent Blues demolished St Kilda by 85 points in this Sunday afternoon training drill at Docklands. Although the rebuilding Saints were their own worst enemies and played paddock football for three quarters, Carlton took full toll of every mistake, and for once were deadly accurate in attack. Lachie Henderson, Levi Casboult and surprise packet Simon White each booted four goals in Carlton’s biggest win for the season to date and the Blues’ most emphatic hiding of the Saints since 1978.
Earlier in the year, at the same venue in round 8, Carlton had beaten St Kilda in a fiery, even contest. Since then, Mick Malthouse’s men had won only once more, but the struggling Saints had fared even worse and stretched their losing sequence to nine games. The loser of this match would be a prime candidate for the 2014 wooden spoon, and that was a powerful incentive for both clubs.
Malthouse and the match committee made two changes to the team that had fallen to Collingwood in round 15, losing Mitch Robinson to suspension, and omitting Dennis Armfield. Tom Bell and Simon White were recalled from injury, with Bell designated as his team’s substitute. St Kilda captain and key forward Nick Riewoldt – so often the scourge of Carlton during the previous decade – won the toss, and the game began in cold, still conditions under the closed roof.
Not for the first time in 2014, Carlton bounced out of the blocks and drew first blood with a goal to Andrejs Everitt after three minutes. Lachie Henderson added the Blues’ second, before Riewoldt replied with a kick off the ground from close in to open the Saints’ account. From that point on the Blues took control, playing with a purpose and freedom that had been painfully absent so far in 2014. Stars of the quarter for Carlton were Everitt, Chris Yarran, Troy Menzel and Simon White – who landed a wonderful set-shot major from wide out on the boundary midway through the term, and followed up with a second from point-blank range ten minutes later, courtesy of a 50-metre penalty. At quarter-time, Carlton led by 26 points.
The Navy Blue romp continued in the early stages of the second quarter, with goals in quick succession to Everitt, Chris Judd and Menzel stretching Carlton’s advantage to 44 points. However, in the midst of a crisis, St Kilda suddenly rallied, and with their skipper off the leash, they came back hard to boot 5.5 - including two to Riewoldt, and three posters. Only a late reply by Yarran maintained Carlton’s lead of 15 points at the long break, when a furious Malthouse stalked to the rooms and vented his frustrations on a team that defender Andrew Walker later said was, “playing like they were millionaires.”
In a blow for Carlton, the luckless Andrew Carrazzo was substituted out of the game at half-time with a thigh injury. “Carrots’” replacement Tom Bell almost kicked a goal in the first minute after play resumed, but couldn’t get his foot to the ball in a goal-square scramble. Overall, that hardly mattered, because the Blues soon snapped back into gear and regained complete control. St Kilda tried hard, but they butchered the ball and made every possible skill error – including twice kicking the ball over the head of Riewoldt when he was in the clear after busting his gut on the lead.
By contrast, Carlton’s disposal by hand and foot was almost faultless. Levi Casboult came into his own in the third quarter to haul down a couple of big marks, as did Henderson, while teenage second-gamer Blaine Johnson visibly grew in confidence with every possession. At three-quarter time, the gap was back out to 49 points and the press were scrolling through their records.
Having led by example throughout the game, Blues captain Marc Murphy came into his own during the last quarter, gathering possessions at will and finding team-mates with a delicious accuracy. Although Menzel added to Carlton’s injury concerns when he left the field early in the term with a worrying left shoulder injury, St Kilda’s intensity visibly waned as the quarter unfolded. With only time-on left to play, White slid into a bullet-like pass from Brock McLean and kicked his fourth goal, before Yarran applied the coup de grace with his third major and lifted the spirits of every Bluebagger in the crowd of just under 30,000.
Although St Kilda put up little resistance in this match, the Blues did all that could have been expected of them under the circumstances, and the boost to their confidence was welcome ahead of a daunting series of games against top-eight sides in the latter part of the season. In a very even team performance, Marc Murphy (27 disposals at 92% efficiency, 5 clearances) was outstanding, as were Andrejs Everitt (23 disposals at 96%, 13 marks, 2 goals) and Andrew Walker (28 disposals at 85%, 10 marks, 6 rebound 50s). Playing forward for much of the game, Simon White had 13 disposals, 7 marks, 5 inside 50s and kicked 4 goals. By contrast, Bryce Gibbs had a rare off-day and was well-held by Saint Maverick Weller, who restricted him to just 14 possessions.
Subs: Tom Bell replaced Andrew Carrazzo at half-time.
|B:||17 Sam Rowe||40 Michael Jamison (DVC)||1 Andrew Walker|
|HB:||6 Kade Simpson (VC)||42 Zach Tuohy||33 Andrejs Everitt|
|C:||4 Bryce Gibbs||5 Chris Judd||35 Ed Curnow|
|HF:||39 Dale Thomas||41 Levi Casboult||13 Chris Yarran|
|F:||43 Simon White||23 Lachlan Henderson||2 Troy Menzel|
|Ruck:||11 Robert Warnock||44 Andrew Carrazzo (VC)||3 Marc Murphy (Captain)|
|Interchange:||14 Brock McLean||15 Sam Docherty||45 Blaine Johnson|
|Substitute:||28 Tom Bell|
|Emergencies:||20 Nick Holman||27 Dennis Armfield||32 Nick Graham|
- Chris Yarran started as a loose man in defence
MilestonesRising Star Nominees: Troy Menzel
Footy Trivia: Blaine Johnson was the only player to score a behind at the Coventry end of the ground in this match. Fifteen goals, 1 behind were scored at that end, and Johnson's miss came with the 4th-last scoring shot of the game. It was also his first AFL score.... and a shocker of a kick!
Footy Trivia: Simon White tripled his AFL goal tally - from 2 to 6 - with this game - his 38th AFL senior match.
Brownlow Votes3. Andrejs Everitt, Carlton
2. Simon White, Carlton
1. Lachie Henderson, Carlton
Best & Fairest VotesAndrew Walker 10, Sam Docherty 8, Andrejs Everitt 8, Simon White 7, Levi Casboult 5, Lachie Henderson 5, Michael Jamison 5, Marc Murphy 5, Chris Yarran 5, Ed Curnow 3, Brock McLean 3, Blaine Johnson 2, Kade Simpson 2, Zach Tuohy 2,
Round 15 | Round 17