|Date: Sat 8 April, 2006, 7:40pm||Result: Lose by 15 points|
|Umpires: Grun, Ellis, Pannell||Crowd: 34,553|
|Goalkickers: Fevola 6, Bentick, Houlihan, Waite, Simpson, Carrazzo, McLaren, Betts|
|Reports: Nil||Injuries: French (sore back), Lappin (hamstring)|
Game ReviewFor the second year in a row, Carlton would have to travel to Perth to take on the Dockers, coming off a week of being pummelled in the press, this time for their insipid loss to Hawthorn in Round 1 (similar to Round 5, 2005). A fired up Fremantle would burst out of the blocks full of aggression. They tried to intimidate the Blues - not something the Dockers are famous for - with a shirtfront to the head by Medhurst on Ryan Houlihan (which would earn him a tribunal appearance), a behind the play clash against second gamer Marc Murphy and plenty of wrestles breaking out. Brendan Fevola was also forced to leave the field in the first quarter with blood streaming from his face. The Blues, coming off a solid win in Round 1, 2006 took a while to get going, with key contributors in that match Heath Scotland and Nick Stevens well held and even Matthew Lappin not his usual composed self. Defensive errors added to the burden, with the Dockers able to get some horribly easy goals. A 7 to 2 goal first quarter effectively ended the match for the Blues.
But the Blues would not lay down. Showing tremendous determination, Houlihan shook off the heavy bump and kept on going all game, working hard to earn 28 quality possessions through the midfield. The Blues kept plugging away and with Brendan Fevola dominant up forward, with all 4 of our first half goals - sometimes out-muscling 2 or even 3 opponents, the Blues were able to stay in the running. He was forced to play a lone role up forward, with De Luca and Waite well held.
Come the second half and the Blues played additional players off half back, and the added drive appeared to work wonders. Gradually, the Blues found run through the middle with Houlihan and Koutoufides earning a lot of the ball. Adam Bentick started to rip a few balls from the stoppages - kicking a great goal from a ruck tap and receive - with 21 possessions and the Blues chipped away at the margin.
All game, the tall Fremantle forward line was well held by Lance Whitnall - on McPharlin and Bret Thornton - quietening the dangerous nemesis Pavlich - whilst it appeared the smalls would only be able to get the odd snap goal. Farmer would kick 3 on Andrew Walker, but Walker's run and drive off half back provided another avenue to our Forward 50. Medhurst would only kick one goal. Cory McGrath and Andrew Carrazzo continued their good form from defence with over 20 stats each.
Over the last quarter, the Blues kicked 4 goals to Freo's 1 with some hard running football to go down by a respectable 15 points. Had the Blues not given them such a start or had there been more time, perhaps the result might have been different. In days gone by, a poor start such as this could have blown out, but it was a great credit to the fighting spirit of the young Blues to not give in.
The papers of the day agreed that Houlihan and Fevola were the best for the Blues, with good contributions coming from Thornton, Whitnall, Carrazzo and Bentick.
|B:||32 Bret Thornton||4 Luke Livingston||20 Cory McGrath|
|HB:||1 Andrew Walker||8 Lance Whitnall (vc)||12 Matthew Lappin (vc)|
|C:||6 Kade Simpson||24 Nick Stevens (vc)||33 Ryan Houlihan|
|HF:||26 Adrian Deluca||30 Jarrad Waite||3 Marc Murphy|
|F:||43 Anthony Koutoufides (c)||25 Brendan Fevola||19 Eddie Betts|
|Ruck:||11 Barnaby French||29 Heath Scotland||44 Andrew Carrazzo|
|40 Adam Bentick, 10 Dylan McLaren, 22 Callum Chambers, 36 Trent Sporn|
|Emg:||Troy Longmuir||David Teague||Simon Wiggins|
|Out:||Brad Fisher (hamstring)|
Brownlow Votes3: Josh Carr (FRE)
2: Brendan Fevola (CARL)
1: Shaun McManus (FRE)
Round 1 | Round 3