|Date:||Sunday (twilight) May 25, 2014|
|Result:||Won by 5 points|
|Goalkickers:||T. Menzel 3, S. Docherty 2, L. Casboult, C. Yarran, A. Everitt, K. Simpson, D. Ellard, D. Thomas, J. Waite 1.|
|Umpires:||S. Hay, M. Leppard, S. Meredith|
|Injuries:||K. Simpson (corked left thigh), D. Buckley (left leg)|
Game ReviewCarlton resuscitated the corpse of their 2014 season and dared to dream of a finals berth after hanging on to beat the Adelaide Crows by five points in this Sunday afternoon thriller at the MCG. On the day that former Blue Eddie Betts played his first match against his old club, and stalwart Heath Scotland was farewelled with an emotional lap of honour before the game, Carlton withstood a late charge by the Crows in front of a relatively-meagre crowd of less than 33,000.
Both teams came into this match as last-start winners, with Adelaide favoured by the bookies because of their impressive defeat of Collingwood the previous week. Carlton made just one compulsory change to the line-up that had beaten St Kilda in round 8, bringing back Jarrad Waite for the suspended Mitch Robinson, and once again naming Jeff Garlett as substitute. Beforehand, commentators were united in their opinion that if Adelaide was able to control of the midfield and provide enough opportunities to their three big forwards in Jenkins, Walker and Podsiadly, then Carlton could be blown away. But that didn’t happen. The Blues’ on-ballers seized the initiative early, and their unheralded defence stood fast throughout the game to get the Blueboys home.
On a cool, calm and almost perfect evening for football, Carlton bounced out of the blocks and livewire forward Troy Menzel got the home crowd roaring with two early shots on goal. The first just missed, but the second sailed through from wide out on the boundary and the Blues were away. It took the Crows 15 minutes to reply, then Menzel kicked his second from a free-kick deep in the left forward pocket. Carlton led by 4 points at quarter time, in an absorbing contest.
The second term opened with a perfect tackle by Levi Casboult on Crow Ben Rutten. Awarded the free-kick, Levi went back and bombed through a monster goal from 55 metres, to set the crowd alight. With Kade Simpson, Brock McLean, Andrew Walker and Chris Yarran on top through the centre, Michael Jamison, Sam Rowe and Simon White were holding firm down back and the Blues’ poise under pressure at times was outstanding.
At the 12-minute mark of the quarter, Betts won a 50-metre penalty against Zach Tuohy, and goaled to keep Adelaide in touch. The Blues struck back with a sensational coast-to coaster, beginning with a defensive mark in Adelaide’s goal-square and ending with Yarran kicking truly from 45 metres at full pace at the other end of the ground. That seemed to sting Adelaide, who lifted during the last eight minutes of the first half, only to squander three or four opportunities with poor kicks at goal, and at half-time, Carlton led by seven points.
As the second half got underway, the battle in the ruck between Adelaide’s Sam Jacobs and Carlton’s Rob Warnock began tilting in the big Crow’s favour. It was the Blues however, who struck first, when Andrejs Everitt goaled from the arc at 50 metres with his first disposal of the game. In an unaccustomed role as a tagger, Everitt had kept Adelaide star Patrick Dangerfield under tight control to that point, and his discipline was later highly praised by coach Mick Malthouse. Still the Crows kept coming, and with Betts shaking his way free up forward and Jacobs giving his team an edge in the clearances, Adelaide kicked three majors in as many minutes late in the term to edge ahead by a single point on the siren - guaranteeing an entertaining conclusion to a hard-fought contest. Meanwhile, Dylan Buckley had limped off with what appeared to be a left thigh injury, to be replaced by Jeff Garlett.
After three bruising quarters, the game broke open in the last quarter as both sides found avenues to goal easier to find. Betts remained a constant threat and his third major for the game after three minutes of play gave Adelaide a seven point break. Later in the quarter he kicked his fourth, but the Blues would not yield and as the clock ticked into time-on the home side had regained the lead by a kick. The intensity of the contest was typified by the sight of Simpson of Carlton and Dangerfield of Adelaide – both obviously injured, yet playing on through the pain and doing all they could to lift their respective sides to victory. In the dying minutes, Carlton should have sealed the win with goals to Brock McLean and Lachie Henderson, but both kicks missed before Adelaide rookie Charlie Cameron spilt a difficult chance to mark inside the Crows’ forward 50 right on the final siren, and left his team five points short.
Having begun the season so poorly, this fourth win in five matches provided another tonic for the resurgent Blues, and was most pleasing because it resulted from an even team effort. There were no passengers for Carlton in this match, and although Adelaide proved superior in a number of key statistics (clearances, hit-outs, contested possessions and inside 50s) the victors were more efficient and more direct.
Continuing his stellar early-season form, Kade Simpson was outstanding yet again for Carlton with 37 disposals, 11 marks, 3 tackles and a goal. Bryce Gibbs (31 possessions, 4 marks, 6 tackles) Brock McLean (26 disposals, 6 marks, 4 tackles) and Dale Thomas (23 possessions, 9 marks, 5 tackles) also reaped reward for their efforts, and together lifted the Blues to twelfth on the ladder – one win behind eighth-placed North Melbourne.
Subs: Jeffery Garlett replaced Dylan Buckley just before three quarter time.
|B:||42 Zach Tuohy||17 Sam Rowe||40 Michael Jamison (DVC)|
|HB:||7 Dylan Buckley||43 Simon White||27 Dennis Armfield|
|C:||6 Kade Simpson (VC)||14 Brock McLean||33 Andrejs Everitt|
|HF:||13 Chris Yarran||41 Levi Casboult||2 Troy Menzel|
|F:||23 Lachlan Henderson||30 Jarrad Waite||39 Dale Thomas|
|Ruck:||11 Robert Warnock||4 Bryce Gibbs||3 Marc Murphy (Captain)|
|Interchange:||1 Andrew Walker||15 Sam Docherty||46 David Ellard|
|Substitute:||38 Jeffery Garlett|
|Emergencies:||37 Jaryd Cachia||44 Andrew Carrazzo (vc)||45 Blaine Johnson|
*Chris Yarran started off the back of the square and was playing a loose man in defence
MilestonesInteresting Fact: This would be the last time for over a year that Carlton would win two games in a row, as Carlton's form of 'OK' form under Malthouse was soon to end....
Brownlow Votes3. Kade Simpson, Carlton
2. Scott Thompson, Adelaide
1. Bryce Gibbs, Carlton
Best & Fairest VotesAndrejs Everitt 10, Kade Simpson 10, Bryce Gibbs 8, Troy Menzel 5, Marc Murphy 5, Dale Thomas 5, Chris Yarran 5, Dennis Armfield 4, Sam Docherty 4, Brock McLean 4, Sam Rowe 4, Simon White 4, Andrew Walker 2, Michael Jamison 1,
Round 9 | Round 11