|Date:||26 March 2009 (Night)|
|Result:||Won by 83 points|
|Goalkickers:||E.Betts 5, M.Robinson 3, J.Waite 3, B.Fevola 2, C.Judd 2, M.Murphy 2, S.Wiggins 2, J.Garlett, R.Hadley, M.Kreuzer, J.Russell|
|Umpires:||C Donlon, S McLaren, M Vozzo|
Game ReviewIn possibly the most eagerly awaited opening round clash in the Blues' long history, almost 87,000 fans packed the MCG to watch Carlton hand out a good old fashioned hiding to traditional foes Richmond, running out eventual 83-point winners.
All the pre-match talk in the media surrounded the meeting of two ex-West Coast captains, Chris Judd and Ben Cousins, who ran out for the first time in opposing colours. An actual match up never really eventuated, and the two had quite contrasting nights. Judd put in a metronomic performance (23 possessions, six tackles and two goals) and was instrumental in leading the Blues to victory, particularly when there was still some heat in the game. Cousins had a solid but quiet return, and his night ended in tears when he tore a hamstring early in the final term and did not return to the field.
The Blues blasted Richmond from the first bounce with an eight goal opening quarter. The lead was 30 points at quarter time and from then we were never challenged. In recent seasons the Blues had been criticised for having an unhealthy reliance on spearhead Brendan Fevola. This game saw only a minor contribution from 'Fev' on the night, and it was left to Eddie Betts (with five goals) to lead the scoring. In addition, five other multiple goal kickers provided a far more even and damaging attack. The forward line pressure exerted by the Carlton forwards was possibly the most noticeable improvement from previous seasons. Their chasing and tackling directly contributed to numerous turnovers by the Tiger defence, and resulted in several goals. Betts, Garlett and Robinson set the tone.
Four Blues made their AFL debut; Jeffery Garlett, Sam Jacobs, Aaron Joseph and Mitch Robinson, while Chris Johnson played his first game for Carlton after crossing from Melbourne during the off season. The last time five players debuted for Carlton was in Round 1, 1984, when Carlton defeated North Melbourne at Waverley by 137 points. For more details about the number of Carlton debutantes in opening rounds click here.
The Blues managed a near injury-free night although it was later revealed that Brendan Fevola had suffered a badly bruised heel. Kade Simpson had his number taken for forceful front-on contact with the Tigers’ Daniel Jackson in possibly the only low-point of the game for Carlton. Simon Wiggins had many of the Carlton faithful up off their seats when he took flight and pulled down a superb "hanger" in a night of many highlights for the Blues. In another celebration, Jeffery Garlett scored a goal with his first kick. This was also the 100th major scored by a Carlton player in Guernsey 38.
Clearly best afield was Marc Murphy, who collected 28 disposals at 86% efficiency. Other standout performers included Simon Wiggins who amassed 21 disposals, Bryce Gibbs with 30 possessions, Eddie Betts (5 goals) and Richard Hadley, who laid an amazing 12 tackles. Jarrad Waite almost single-handedly took the game away from Richmond early, kicking three goals off the wing and negating Richmond star Matthew Richardson. Waite's influence waned as the match wore on, but he was critical when the match was up for grabs. Mitch Robinson was impressive on debut, kicking three goals and laying six tackles while Matthew Kreuzer was influential in the ruck with 21 hit outs (refer to Attachment for match stats).
The average age of this Carlton side was 23 years and 172 days, with an average League experience of 68.2 games per player. Heath Scotland was the oldest at 28 years, 248 days old and Brendan Fevola the most experienced with 165 games,
While this was a great victory over a traditional rival, it is sobering to reflect that in 1978 the boot was on the other foot, and Richmond scored their highest-ever score against Carlton in that opening round - and they didn’t even make the finals. However, Carlton did.
This game is remembered fondly by Carlton fans, and is considered one of our best wins in the Home & Away rounds of the 2000's. For more games like this, please click here.
|B:||45 Aaron Joseph||40 Michael Jamison||9 Chris Johnson|
|HB:||18 Paul Bower||32 Bret Thornton||4 Bryce Gibbs|
|C:||30 Jarrad Waite||10 Richard Hadley||2 Jordan Russell|
|HF:||6 Kade Simpson||34 Simon Wiggins||12 Mitch Robinson|
|F:||19 Eddie Betts||25 Brendan Fevola||28 Cameron Cloke|
|Ruck:||8 Matthew Kreuzer||5 Chris Judd||3 Marc Murphy|
|Interchange:||29 Heath Scotland||33 Ryan Houlihan||38 Jeffery Garlett|
|39 Sam Jacobs|
|Emg:||1 Andrew Walker, 22 Shaun Hampson, 27 Dennis Armfield|
MilestonesDebuts: Jeffery Garlett, Sam Jacobs, Aaron Joseph, Mitch Robinson
Debuts (Carlton): Chris Johnson
Big Victories: This was Carlton's biggest victory over Richmond since our 113 point win in Round 23, 1994 and our biggest win generally since defeating the Eagles by over 100 in 2001.
Interesting Fact: This was the first game in 16 years that Carlton's Guernsey 38, worn by Jeff Garlett, had seen a victory.
Interesting Fact: This game appears to be the first time in almost 30 years that Carlton had selected three Tasmanians in its senior line-up, being Wiggins, Joseph and Robinson.
Interesting Fact: First time since Round 12, 1996 that Carlton had finished on top of the ladder at the end of the round.
Interesting Fact: In the 113 opening matches that Carlton has played in the League (which started in 1897), this is our second-largest crowd - only 76 fewer than 1995, when 87,119 packed into the MCG for the blockbuster against Collingwood.
Interesting Fact: This was Carlton’s 5th game played on a Thursday night. We have won the odd numbered games (1st, 3rd and 5th) - all at the MCG - with great victories in Round 8, 1992 when we ruined Collingwood’s “Game of the Century” celebrations, Round 3, 2001 when we whipped the reigning Premiers Essendon; and this game - when we crushed the Tigers and set the scene for the sacking of their coach Terry Wallace barely ten weeks later.
Brownlow Votes3. Bryce Gibbs, Carlton
2. Eddie Betts, Carlton
1. Marc Murphy, Carlton
Best and Fairest Votes43 Marc Murphy, 42 Jarrad Waite, 40 Eddie Betts, 37 Simon Wiggins, 36 Richard Hadley, 33 Chris Judd, 22 Bret Thornton, 20 Matthew Kreuzer, 13 Mitch Robinson, 6 Bryce Gibbs, 6 Aaron Joseph
2009 | Round 2