|Venue:||SCG (Venue shift from MCG due to Covid issue in Melbourne).|
|Date:||Sunday 6 June, 2021 (3.20 pm).|
|Result:||Lost by 22 points.|
|Goalkickers:||T. De Koning 2.1, M. Owies 2.1, E. Betts 2.0, W. Setterfield 1.1, M. Cottrell 1.1, S. Walsh 1.0, Z. Williams 1.0, J. Silvagni 0.2, M. Pittonet 0.2, P. Cripps 0.1, H. McKay 0.1, A. Saad 0.1, Rushed 0.2.|
|Umpires:||Leigh Fisher, Hayden Gavine, Robert O'Gorman .|
|Injuries:||H. McKay (concussion), N. Newman (concussion).|
Game ReviewInjury-ravaged Eagles notch valuable road win against Blues
After a shock home loss last round West Coast gets back on track at the SCG - By Riley Beveridge / Rose Zarucky.
It was the season reflected in Liam Ryan's afternoon for West Coast on Sunday. There was the brilliance, as Ryan's scintillating four-goal performance – featuring superb feats both in the air and in attack – inspired the club to a desperately required 22-point victory over Carlton at the SCG. But there was also the tinge of concern, as Ryan felt at his hamstring late in a 14.11 (95) to 10.13 (73) victory that he helped mastermind. Any lingering worries could add to an extended Eagles injury list, which had made this win all the more special. West Coast, still reeling from last week's upset home loss to Essendon, was missing a host of key players for what had suddenly emerged as a must-win contest. But encouraged by Ryan's excellence, it controlled Sunday's clash.
Ryan kicked four goals from 17 disposals and nine marks in a terrific display, flourishing in a forward line that was without champion goalkicker Josh Kennedy (soreness) and exciting youngster Oscar Allen (concussion). Without star duo Tim Kelly (knee) and Luke Shuey (hamstring), it was left to Dom Sheed and Andrew Gaff to set things up from the midfield. The former had 32 disposals and eight clearances, while the latter finished with 30 touches and a goal. Typical of West Coast's gutsy win, that pair held firm when All-Australian defender Brad Sheppard suffered a concussion to add to the loss of Jeremy McGovern (knee) and Alex Witherden (groin) down back. They had also produced when Carlton won long periods of territorial dominance within the contest, with gun midfielder Sam Walsh (30 disposals, 11 marks, one goal) giving his side every chance.
But the Blues were wasteful when it counted and lost Coleman Medal leader Harry McKay to concussion, forcing promising youngster Tom De Koning (seven disposals, two goals) to play a lone hand in the forward line. Defeat leaves Carlton's finals chances in tatters, while victory for West Coast – done so on the road and with important troops both hobbled and unavailable – could give its hopes for season 2021 a thrilling injection of belief. The Eagles are bruised, but not beaten.
Despite an arm wrestle across four quarters, the Blues couldn't get on top of the Eagles, who led at every change in the Round 12 contest.
Two early goals to the Eagles put the pressure on the Blues from the first bounce. West Coast used their spread to open up the ground, playing clean and efficient football. Carlton had some clear opportunities in front of goal, but wasn't able to convert into major scores. Will Setterfield finally broke the drought, kicking a goal from a forward stoppage, before Sam Walsh repeated the dose not long after. The Eagles' quick ball movement going forward caught the Blues' defence out, as Tom De Koning provided a tall target in the absence of Harry McKay, who came off early and didn't return due to a concussion.
As West Coast stamped its control on the contest early, an Eddie Betts assist for Tom De Koning kept the Blues in reach. Marc Pittonet provided a strong target in the air opposed to Naitanui, often rotating forward with De Koning as the Blues looked to reorganise their forward structure. Zac Williams provided consistent pressure across half back against West Coast's surge, before back-to-back goals for Matthew Owies saw the Blues lead for the first time in the afternoon. A pair of late goals saw the Eagles retake the lead at the main break.
The Blues sprung a counter attack in the early minutes of the third term, with a triple effort from Jack Silvagni ending in Matthew Cottrell hitting the scoreboard. Adam Saad was intent on providing run and rebound from Carlton's back half, but West Coast's accurate delivery inside forward 50 saw the Eagles register some clean looks on goal. Betts kicked his first of the day while Walsh continued to battle manfully around the stoppages, before a classy Williams goal brought the Blues within a kick. After arguably being Carlton's best over three quarters, a concussion saw Nic Newman ruled out of the contest, as late goals once again proved costly for the Blues in the closing stages.
Eddie Betts did everything in his power to bring the Blues back into the contest, with an impressive snap putting the Blues within 10 points of the Eagles. The Blues were desperate to get the game back on their terms, but the Eagles managed to ride the wave and play the game in their forward half, kicking two crucial goals to open up a game-high lead. Jones' intercept marking behind the ball gave the Blues hope in the final moments, but it wasn't enough as the Blues were resigned to a 22-point defeat.
Three things from the game
1. Carlton needs to capitalise more when the game is on its term, and limit the damage the other way. The Blues dominated the opening term, but could only register three goals from their nine scoring shots, before late goals in the second and third terms denied them the lead at crucial stages of the game. If the Blues are going to turn these games into wins, efficiency in offence and defence is crucial.
2. The Blues will be buoyed by the performance of Tom De Koning. Playing his third consecutive game, De Koning was forced to be the sole key position forward for the large part of Sunday's game after Harry McKay was subbed out for Jack Newnes. With two goals and bringing the ball to ground, it was a mature performance for De Koning in an unfamiliar role.
3. Carlton's Indigenous brigade did everything possible to get their side a win in Sir Doug Nicholls Round. Eddie Betts' two second-half goals were as crafty as they were important in the context of the game, while Zac Williams was again strong across half back in contributing the most metres gained (602) of anyone on the ground while hitting the scoreboard. Liam Jones was also influential, recording 12 intercepts and nullifying Jake Williams and Bailey Williams as Jacob Weitering locked down Jack Darling.
Head knocks mar lively clash
There was plenty of misfortune for either side in the early stages of Sunday's game, with both Harry McKay and Brad Sheppard forced from the contest due to concussion. McKay, the Coleman Medal leader, had his head bounce against the SCG turf after falling in a marking contest with Harry Edwards. That had preceded Sheppard's head knock, with the reigning All-Australian defender coming off worse-for-wear following a bruising collision with Adam Saad. Both players went down the race at quarter-time and weren't seen for the remainder of the game, with medical substitutes Jack Newnes and Jamaine Jones both activated. Blues defender Nic Newman was also forced from the field with concussion in the third term, having flipped in a marking contest before landing on his head.
Best: S. Walsh, Z. Williams, A. Saad, P. Dow, N. Newman, J. Weitering, L. Jones.
|B:||6 Zac Williams||14 Liam Jones||13 Liam Stocker|
|HB:||35 Ed Curnow||23 Jacob Weitering||42 Adam Saad|
|C:||15 Sam Docherty (c)||9 Patrick Cripps (c)||46 Matthew Cottrell|
|HF:||3 Marc Murphy||1 Jack Silvagni||21 Jack Martin|
|F:||19 Eddie Betts||10 Harry McKay||25 Zac Fisher|
|Ruck:||12 Tom De Koning||18 Sam Walsh||2 Paddy Dow|
|Interchange:||24 Nic Newman||27 Marc Pittonet||43 Will Setterfield|
|44 Matt Owies|
|Medical Substitute||32 Jack Newnes|
|Emergencies:||26 Luke Parks||8 Lachie Fogarty||41 Levi Casboult|
Medical Substitute: J. Newnes replaced H. McKay (concussion) in the second quarter.
In; Paddy Dow, Zac Fisher, Jack Newnes.
Out: Michael Gibbons (hamstring), Levi Casboult (omitted), Lachie Fogarty (managed)
MilestonesEddie Betts played his 341st game and officially goes past Andrew McLeod to sit third for most games by an Indigenous player in VFL/AFL history.
AFLCA Votes8 - Liam Ryan (WCE)
8 - Nic Naitanui (WCE)
6 - Dom Sheed (WCE)
4 - Sam Walsh (CARL)
3 - Liam Jones (CARL)
1 - Tom Barrass (WCE)
Brownlow Votes3 - D.Sheed (WC)
2 - L.Ryan (WC)
1 - Patrick Cripps (CAR)
Best & Fairest VotesSam Walsh 8, Liam Jones 7, Jacob Weitering 7, Patrick Cripps 5, Eddie Betts 4, Ed Curnow 4, Jack Silvagni 4, Nic Newman 4, Matt Owies 4, Tom De Koning 4, Zac Williams 3, Will Setterfield 3, Zac Fisher 3, Adam Saad 2, Marc Pittonet 2, Sam Docherty 1
Round 11 | Round 13