|Date:||Saturday, April 27, 2013 (twilight)|
|Result:||Won by 32 points|
|Goalkickers:||J. Garlett (4), C. Yarran (3), B. McLean (2), C. Judd, M. Murphy, A. Carrazzo, K. Simpson, B. Gibbs, H. Scotland, D. Armfield, E. Betts (1).|
|Umpires:||D. Margetts, B. Ryan, S. Stewart|
Game ReviewThe resurgent Blues brought their season back on track, and revived their finals hopes with a five-goal victory over the Adelaide Crows in this Saturday twilight fixture at the MCG. After an even first 12 minutes, the game was all but decided when the Crows’ dangerous key forward Taylor Walker injured a knee and was carried from the field. From that point on, the Blues were clearly the better side and for periods of the game looked ready to demolish their opponents. But Adelaide refused to buckle, and after they clawed their way back into contention half-way through the last quarter, it was left to the mercurial Jeff Garlett to kill off the Crows’ challenge with some individual brilliance.
Having celebrated their first win of the season the previous week against West Coast at Subiaco, Carlton made only one change to their line-up, welcoming back Eddie Betts in place of Aaron Joseph. In fact it was sub for sub, because Joseph had worn the fluoro green vest against West Coast, and Betts had it on when the team burst through the banner (acknowledging Lachie Henderson’s 50th game for the Blues) and on to the green vista of the MCG on a warm autumn afternoon.
Awaiting, in front a crowd of 44,000 were the Crows; Preliminary Finalists of 2012, intent on improving their patchy start (2 wins, 2 losses) to the season. The opening bounce was good, the early exchanges intense and the tackling fierce, although the Blues settled better and brought up the first goal of the game through Brock McLean. A minute later, Zach Tuohy charged forward on a bouncing run and unleashed a bomb that just missed, before Andy Carrazzo snapped truly from a tight angle and the Blues were away.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Taylor Walker was causing early headaches for Carlton’s defence, and his fourth strong mark for the term came after he registered the Crows’ first major with a booming drop-punt from the 50-metre line. Barely a minute later, he flew for another contest, and television viewers across the country cringed at the slow-motion replays of his landing. His right knee locked on impact, and there was stunned silence from Crows fans as ‘Tex’ was carried off and subbed out of the match. Robbed of their focal point in attack, Adelaide was thrown into confusion and the quarter-time siren was a blessing, although by then Carlton had kicked away to a 28-point advantage.
The Blues were dominant in the first part of the second quarter, adding goals to Garlett and Simpson, and near-misses to McLean and Lucas. But Adelaide persisted, and their makeshift forward set-up conjured goals to their stand-in spearhead Otten and midfielder Vince. The Crows were scrapping hard, and as the quarter progressed Carlton became sloppy; over-using the football and wasting opportunities, until a lovely kick by Bryce Gibbs from deep in the right forward pocket brought up his team’s third major for the term. At half-time, Carlton led by 35 points.
In a big surprise, Gibbs was subbed out of the match during the long break, apparently because of hamstring tightness. Betts replaced him, and was immediately into the fray, although Adelaide started the second half with purpose and booted the first two goals to cut Carlton’s advantage to 25 points. The reply came from Heath Scotland, who took a clever handpass from Chris Judd and threaded through a pearler at the 7-minute mark. Dennis Armfield got the next from a free-kick, then Tuohy charged forward again and his long kick was cleverly marked by Betts in the pocket. For any other player it would have been a difficult shot, but for Eddie it was regulation. The ball went straight between the posts, and Carlton was back out to 43-point advantage.
Adelaide kicked their sixth goal for the match after 18 minutes of the third quarter, and the teams then swapped a series of points until a frantic exchange of handballs released Jeff Garlett, who dashed forward and kicked his second. At three-quarter time the Blues remained comfortably in control, with a big lead of 41 points.
However, when the last quarter began, the Blues caught a bad case of the staggers. . Adelaide surged back into contention with a goal in the first 60 seconds, followed by four more in succession between the 6 and 14-minute marks. Suddenly, Adelaide were back within 17 points of the Blues, and they had all the momentum.
The saviour for Carlton was Chris Yarran, who ran on to a clever pass from Kade Simpson and kicked his third goal from the left forward pocket to steady the ship. Betts followed up with another instinctive chip out of a pack to Garlett, and Jeff kicked truly from a similar angle. With five minutes remaining, Carlton had snatched the initiative once more and the game was safely in their grasp. Even so, the highlights just kept coming.
After Otten marked and put through his third goal for Adelaide, the Blues went straight back into attack with a long kick to the goal-square. Garlett and his opponent jostled under it, and both appeared to stumble to the deck – but just as he hit the ground, Jeff twisted his body and took a truly incredible mark almost flat on his back. The final siren blared as he was lining up his shot, and his fourth major for the game increased Carlton’s final margin to 32 points.
Among the better players for the home side in a curiously unsatisfactory performance was Andrew Walker, who ranged across half-back all evening and ended up with 32 disposals at 78% efficiency. Brock McLean picked up 29 possessions and two goals, while Mitch Robinson (29 disposals - including 20 contested - and six inside-50 entries) was prominent throughout. But the match-winners were forwards Jeff Garlett (15 disposals – 12 contested – 4 tackles, 4 goals) and Chris Yarran (11 possessions, 5 tackles, 3 goals).
In the end it was a deserved victory, but we couldn’t help wondering – did this Carlton side lack killer instinct, or was it Adelaide that brought real determination and character to the contest?
Subs: Eddie Betts replaced Bryce Gibbs at half time.
|B:||1 Andrew Walker||40 Michael Jamison||23 Lachlan Henderson|
|HB:||43 Simon White||4 Bryce Gibbs||42 Zach Tuohy|
|C:||35 Ed Curnow||44 Andrew Carrazzo (vc)||9 Kane Lucas|
|HF:||13 Chris Yarran||17 Sam Rowe||14 Brock McLean|
|F:||38 Jeff Garlett||22 Shaun Hampson||27 Dennis Armfield|
|Ruck:||11 Robert Warnock||5 Chris Judd||3 Marc Murphy (C)|
|Interchange:||6 Kade Simpson (vc)||12 Mitch Robinson||29 Heath Scotland|
|Substitute:||19 Eddie Betts|
|Emergencies:||41 Levi Casboult||45 Aaron Joseph||46 David Ellard|
Milestones50 Games (Carlton): Lachlan Henderson (65th AFL game)
Guernsey Records: Jeffery Garlett overtook Shane Robertson's record of 80 games in guernsey #38.
Interesting Fact: This match would mark our 300th game since our last Grand Final
Interesting Fact: The three field umpires - Dean Margett came from South Australia, Ben Ryan from Queensland, and Shane Stewart from Tasmania. The game was played in Victoria.
Brownlow Votes3. Andrew Walker, Carlton
2. Brock McLean, Carlton
1. Kade Simpson, Carlton
Best & Fairest VotesBrock McLean 8, Andrew Walker 8, Jeffery Garlett 6, Andrew Carrazzo 5, Marc Murphy 5, Ed Curnow 4, Mitch Robinson 4, Heath Scotland 4, Kade Simpson 4, Robert Warnock 4, Chris Yarran 4, Dennis Armfield 3, Chris Judd 3, Zach Tuohy 3, Kane Lucas 1
|2||Port Adelaide||5||5||0||0||573||386||+0||W 5||148.45||20|
|11||Gold Coast||5||2||3||0||469||493||+3||W 1||95.13||8|
|13||North Melbourne||5||1||4||0||508||507||-2||L 1||100.20||4|
|14||St Kilda||5||1||4||0||453||464||-4||L 2||97.63||4|
|15||West Coast||5||1||4||0||499||512||-3||L 2||97.46||4|
|16||Western Bulldogs||5||1||4||0||387||487||-1||L 4||79.47||4|
|18||GWS Giants||5||0||5||0||429||672||+0||L 5||63.84||0|
Round 4 | Round 6