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In front for three quarters....

Round 1, 2014

Carlton 4.4 28 8.8 56 11.13 79 12.15 87
Port Power 1.0 6 7.5 47 11.7 73 18.12 120
Venue: Docklands Stadium
Date: Sunday March 16, 2014 (Night)
Result: Lost by 33 points
Crowd: 24,640
Goalkickers: D. Ellard 2, E. Curnow 2, B. Gibbs 2, J. Waite 2, D. Thomas, A. Everitt, C. Yarran & J. Garlett 1.
Reports: Andrew Walker, for unduly rough play in that he slung Angus Monfries of Port Adelaide into the boundary fence during the last quarter. Suspended for 1 match by the Match Review Panel.
Umpires: L. Farmer, N. Foot, B. Rosebury
Injuries:
Ladder: 12


Game Review

Heralding the start of the club’s 150th year of competition, the Navy Blues began their 2014 campaign under lights on this Sunday night at Docklands Stadium, against a Port Adelaide side that had been one of the big improvers of season 2013. In front of a modest crowd of less than 25,000, Carlton controlled the early stages of the match and led narrowly after a hectic third term, only to falter in the last 25 minutes to be well beaten.

At the end of a long and intense off-season, Carlton’s match committee selected a team for this game that was markedly different to the line-up that fell to Sydney in a 2013 Semi Final. Missing for a variety of reasons were Chris Judd, Eddie Betts, Heath Scotland, Nick Duigan, Dennis Armfield and Levi Casboult, replaced by Matthew Kreuzer, David Ellard, Matthew Watson, Troy Menzel and high-profile recruits Dale Thomas and Andrejs Everitt. Menzel was named as the Blues’ substitute, while captain Marc Murphy began proceedings on a positive note by winning the toss.

Carlton swarmed into attack from the first bounce and could have had five goals on the board inside the seven minutes - had Jeff Garlett’s snap not brushed Thomas’s head on its way through the big sticks, and had set shots from Waite and Bell held their line. As it was, trivia buffs found joy when the Blues first two majors were posted by Thomas and Everitt respectively, with their first kicks for their new club. Eleven minutes in, Port found some cohesion when their young star Hamish Hartlett goaled to open their account. Their intensity lifted, although Bryce Gibbs, Kade Simpson, Murphy, Waite and Ellard – who kicked the Blues’ third and fourth majors for the term – were clearly on top and Carlton led by 22 points at the first break.

The second quarter belonged to one player – Port swingman Justin Westhoff. Switched from defence into attack, Westhoff led and marked with impressive surety to kick four goals for the term, and it might have been more had he not been forced from the field for assessment after a heavy clash with Andrew Walker. Carlton still led by nine points at half-time, but the visitors had found their rhythm and it was becoming a more even contest in general play.

The third quarter was the best of the match, as Port Adelaide surged and Carlton met them head on. From the restart, four unanswered majors by the Power saw them hit the front for the first time in the game, and after just seven minutes of play they were up by 16 points. Carlton then rallied, but Gibbs and Thomas both missed with set shots, and it was left to Waite to inspire his team. The agile big man took consecutive towering marks, and his resulting goals cut the deficit to less than a kick after 20 minutes of fast, hard football.

In the very next passage of play, Port attacked with purpose but Michael Jamison took a strong mark deep in a back pocket. He passed long to Zach Tuohy at centre half-back, and the Irishman instantly dished off to Chris Yarran, who bolted through the centre square with one bounce before roosting the goal of the day from 50 metres. The stadium was still buzzing from that highlight when the siren sounded at three-quarter time, with the Blues back in front by a slender 6 points.

Buoyed by their team’s fightback, Carlton fans were confident heading into the last quarter, in spite of Port Adelaide’s reputation as one of the better fourth-quarter teams in the competition. A frantic first three minutes of end-to-end scrambling didn’t dampen enthusiasm at first, until Port small forward Robbie Gray found space and kicked two goals in two minutes. Carlton began to wobble, and from that point on, the Power were to add 7.3 to Carlton’s 1.1 and run out deserved winners by 33 points.

By the 19-minute mark of the final quarter – when Westhoff ran down Matt Watson and notched up his fifth goal from the resulting free-kick – Carlton was a beaten side. And the cause wasn’t helped when Walker was reported by an umpire for slinging Port’s Angus Monfries into the boundary fence during the dying minutes of the game. As a consequence, ‘Tex’ would not be included in the Blues line-up against Richmond in round 2.

Looking through the brightest of rose-coloured glasses, there were very few positives to be found after this game. Kade Simpson, Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy, Ed Curnow, David Ellard and Jarrad Waite could all hold their heads high, but there was no escaping the reality that the Blues’ defence was tissue-thin, that the rucks struggled for consistency, and that the midfield was unable to impose itself.

Perhaps the only consolation could be found in the old football cliché regarding early days in a long season. Hopefully, things could only get better.

Subs: Troy Menzel replaced Tom Bell early in the last quarter.

Team


B: 26 Andrew McInnes 40 Michael Jamison (DVC)10 Matthew Watson
HB: 33 Andrejs Everitt 1 Andrew Walker 13 Chris Yarran
C: 42 Zach Tuohy 6 Kade Simpson (VC) 4 Bryce Gibbs
HF: 38 Jeff Garlett 35 Ed Curnow 46 David Ellard
F: 3 Marc Murphy (Captain) 30 Jarrad Waite 23 Lachlan Henderson
Ruck: 11 Robert Warnock 28 Tom Bell 39 Dale Thomas
Interchange: 8 Matthew Kreuzer 12 Mitch Robinson 14 Brock McLean
Substitute: 2 Troy Menzel
Emergencies: 9 Kane Lucas 16 Patrick Cripps 20 Nick Holman
Coach: Mick Malthouse


Milestones

Debut (Carlton): Andrejs Everitt, Dale Thomas
First Goal (Carlton): Andrejs Everitt, Dale Thomas
50 Games (Carlton): Robert Warnock
Last Game: Andrew McInnes
Premiership Pain: With this game, Carlton equalled the stretch of 414 games played since our last Premiership win.

Brownlow Votes

3. Ollie Wines, Port Adelaide
2. Justin Westhoff, Port Adelaide
1. Jared Polec, Port Adelaide

Best & Fairest Votes

Ed Curnow 9, David Ellard 7, Michael Jamison 6, Bryce Gibbs 4, Kade Simpson 4, Marc Murphy 3, Zach Tuohy 2, Andrew Walker 2, Chris Yarran 2,


2014 | Round 2

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