|Venue : MCG|
|Date : Friday, June 26th (N)||Result : Loss by 69 points|
|Umpires : 3 Stephen McBurney 9 Matt Stevic 22 Stuart Wenn||Crowd : 83,407|
|Goalkickers : E.Betts 3, B.Fevola 2, S. O'hAilpin, C.Judd, K.Simpson, B.Gibbs 1.|
|Reports : Nil||Injuries: Bower (knee)||Ladder Position : Eighth|
Game ReviewIf there was one moment that summed up this gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of a despised rival, then it was surely the smirk on the face of Essendon’s Andrew Lovett, at the eight minute mark of the last quarter in this critical Friday night match at a packed MCG.
Lovett had just waltzed through a tissue-thin Carlton defence, slotted his second goal, and put Essendon 46 points up. By then, the Blues were disorganised, dispirited and beaten, and Lovett and his mates were loving it. In the most important match of the season so far for both clubs, Essendon went on to destroy Carlton by 69 points, and in the process, raised serious doubts about the Blues finals aspirations.
Another huge crowd of 83,407 turned up at the MCG on a fine, cool night and were treated to a good contest until half time. The Bombers led by four points at the main break, but suffered a major setback when their key midfielder Jobe Watson hobbled off with a serious ankle injury and took no further part in the game. This alone made Carlton’s capitulation hard to understand.
The Blues should have been able to capitalise on Watson’s demise, but were outplayed, outsmarted and outrun by a far more committed Essendon team that kicked 13.5 to 2.6 in the second half. On a night when thousands upon thousands of Carlton supporters across the country were plunged back into despair, there were very few positives to ponder.
Captain Chris Judd wore a hard tag all night and still won the ball with class and courage, Marc Murphy worked hard and tackled harder, and Eddie Betts kicked three brilliant opportunist goals. Bryce Gibbs and Andrew Carrazzo had their moments, while Setanta O’hAilpin took a number of good contested marks, despite being ironed out by friendly fire late in the first term.
This was the second time this season that Carlton had been blown away by a team that was no more skilful, yet harder working and better organised. They knew we were coming, all right – but we never really arrived.
While costly, this loss would have been even worse had Hawthorn beaten West Coast - as expected - on the Saturday night at Subiaco. But in an extraordinary game, a gale lashed the ground in the last quarter, and with its help, the Eagles beat Hawthorn by 20 points in a boilover. This left Carlton and Hawthorn equal in 8th and 9th places on the ladder. Our percentage took a hit from our big loss to the Bombers, but it was still 14% better than the Hawks.
The average age of this Carlton team was 23 years, 298 days, with an average League experience of 79.0 games per player. Nick Stevens was the oldest, at 29 years, 174 days, and the most experienced with 225 games. Aaron Joseph was the youngest, at 19 years and 357 days, while Mark Austin had the least experience and was playing in only his eleventh senior game.
|B:||18 Paul Bower||40 Michael Jamison||27 Dennis Armfield|
|HB:||15 Steven Browne||21 Mark Austin||44 Andrew Carrazzo|
|C:||45 Aaron Joseph||5 Chris Judd (c)||29 Heath Scotland|
|HF:||3 Marc Murphy||17 Setanta Ó hAilpín||6 Kade Simpson|
|F:||14 Brad Fisher||25 Brendan Fevola||33 Ryan Houlihan|
|Ruck:||8 Matthew Kreuzer||31 Jordan Bannister||4 Bryce Gibbs|
|Interchange:||16 Shaun Grigg||19 Eddie Betts||22 Shaun Hampson|
|24 Nick Stevens (vc)|
|Emg:||38 Jeffery Garlett 32 Bret Thornton 2 Jordan Russell|
- Brad Fisher replaced Bret Thornton (hamstring) in the selected side
Milestones100 Games: Kade Simpson
Last game: Jordan Bannister
Interesting Fact: Exactly 100 years ago, in 1909, this round marked the first time that Carlton’s Total Points For exceeded our Total Points Against. The occasion was the Blues' 226th VFL game (against Geelong at Princes Park) when we won by 60 points. In fact, Carlton has only ever been in the negative for those first 225 games. Our positive margin was at its greatest in game No. 2110 - the 2001 Elimination Final against Adelaide - when our points for exceeded our points against by 22,495 - which is also the League record. Round 13, 2009 was game No. 2278 after which we were in the positive by 18,496 points - a position we have been in now for 2053 games.
Brownlow Votes3. Andrew Welsh, Essendon
2. Dustin Fletcher, Essendon
1. Angus Monfries, Essendon
Best and Fairest Votes29 Brad Fisher, 28 Andrew Carrazzo, 27 Eddie Betts, 15 Setanta Ó hAilpín
Round 12 | Round 14