|Marvel Stadium, Docklands
|Saturday 25th June, 2022 (1.45 pm).
|Won by 31 points.
|C. Curnow 4.2, H. McKay 2.2, M. Cottrell 2.0, L. O'Brien 2.0, J. Newnes 1.1, J. Silvagni 1.0, M. Kennedy 0.1, S. Walsh 0.1, Rushed 0.2.
|Jamie Broadbent, Robert O' Gorman, Brett Rosebury.
|J. Boyd (ankle).
This was just what Carlton needed. After losing two of its past three games – both against traditional rivals Collingwood and Richmond – to remove some of the gloss off a stunning start to the Michael Voss era, the Blues rolled up their sleeves and produced a blue collar four-quarter performance in an old-fashioned eight-point game at Marvel Stadium. Now Carlton is back on the winners list and back in the top-four – at least for right now – after winning a crucial encounter with eight-point ramifications against top-four rival Fremantle by 31 points at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon. In a round where most fixtures mean more than just the four points on offer, the Blues have banked arguably their most impressive victory under Voss to move to 10 wins from 14 games, matching the Dockers almost every step of the way in the 12.9 (81) to 7.8 (50) win. Sam Walsh was the architect. The 21-year-old – yes he is still only 21 and doesn’t turn 22 until next month – produced another dominant display in game No.74, amassing 16 disposals in the second quarter alone to put him on a path to a career-high 40 disposals, 13 contested possessions, 11 inside 50s and seven clearances.
Nine days after they were beaten up around the ball by Richmond at the MCG, the Blues smashed Fremantle around the ball, winning the inside 50 count by 24, the clearance count by 14 and the tackle count by 10. On a day where the howling cacophony of noise from one-eyed Carlton supporters reverberated under the roof in Docklands, no one roused the faithful more than Charlie Curnow, the precociously talented key forward they’ve been deprived of for two years. Curnow extended his lead at the top of the Coleman Medal leaderboard by kicking four goals to move to 44 from the first 15 rounds, continuing a remarkable resurgence from the 25-year-old. The concern in the build-up was how this undermanned and inexperienced defence was going to be able to handle Matt Taberner and Rory Lobb. That has been the story since Jacob Weitering injured his AC joint before the bye and became an even greater concern when Mid-Season Rookie Draft selection Sam Durdin joined the John Nicholls Medallist on the sidelines, along with almost every other key defender on the list – Mitch McGovern, Oscar McDonald, Caleb Marchbank and Luke Parks – following the untimely departure of Liam Jones at the end of last year.
But the makeshift defence of Lewis Young and Brodie Kemp – in just his fifth game – plus the cool, calm guidance of Sam Docherty and Adam Saad was enough to navigate past another game where the best key defensive options were watching from the grandstand. Fremantle kicked the first three goals of the game and it took 19 minutes for Carlton to score when Matthew Kennedy’s goal was overturned on review to the disgust of a howling navy Blue turnout, but Voss couldn’t have been too unhappy by the first break. Coleman Medallist Harry McKay missed his first two shots – one hit the post, the other just missed – but got on the board late in the term to reduce the margin to nine points. The Blues were on top, they just couldn’t find the right target inside 50. That changed during a blistering 12-minute patch in the second quarter where Carlton kicked four goals to none and left a couple more on the table. Fremantle raised its intensity after the main break but couldn’t capitalise on the momentum, before the Blues cruised to victory late, atoning for a disappointing showing against the Dockers in Perth earlier in the season. With so many fighting for so few spots – in the four and in the eight – this was a game Carlton simply had to win to maintain its pursuit of September. And they didn’t disappoint.
Milestone Blue delivers
He might not be the biggest name the Blues have lured to Princes Park in the past few years, but Jack Newnes has proven tremendous value for money since moving from St Kilda at the end of 2019. The wingman has had to fight for his spot under David Teague and Michael Voss, but he reached the 200-game milestone in style on Saturday. The 29-year-old was one of the better players on the ground in the first-half, kicking a crucial goal and dishing off to Charlie Curnow to get the Blues to the main break in a strong position.
MRO strife for superstar?
An incident shortly after the three-quarter time siren might attract some attention from the Match Review Officer after Nat Fyfe made contact with an umpire. The dual Brownlow Medallist was pushed from behind by Matt Cottrell and braces for contact with umpire Robert O’Gorman by putting his hand on his chest to stop his momentum going forward.
Late, late out
After playing the first 13 games of the season and emerging as a young gun at Princes Park under Michael Voss, Matthew Owies was a very late out on Saturday afternoon after suffering a calf injury in the warm-up. Jesse Motlop came into the 22, with Will Setterfield handed the medi-sub role.
Best: S. Walsh, C. Curnow, G. Hewett, Z. Fisher, A. Saad, S. Docherty, J. Newnes.
A big scalp.
Carlton overturned a first-quarter deficit to storm home in front of a passionate home crowd at Marvel Stadium, accounting for Fremantle by 31 points. Sam Walsh produced a career-best showing in terms of disposals while Coleman Medal leader Charlie Curnow (four goals) was once again prolific in front of goal as the Blues' 10th win for the season was underpinned by its pressure and system.
Despite dominating the contested and territory battle, it was Fremantle’s quarter on the scoreboard as Carlton struggled to find its feet going forward. The Dockers registered the first three goals on the board, holding up against a barrage of the Blues' forward entries and hurting the hosts on the counter. Despite 19 inside 50s, it took until the final moments for Carlton to convert its first goal via the left boot of Harry McKay, who loomed as Carlton's biggest forward threat early. Corey Durdin and late inclusion Jesse Motlop - who was elevated from sub into the starting line-up after a calf injury to Matthew Owies - were busy at the fall of the ball, while Sam Walsh lent a hand in defensive 50. Patrick Cripps and Matt Kennedy had the better of the clearances, but the Blues had a nine-point deficit to negotiate at the end of the first term.
The Blues found their goalkicking boots in the second term, scoring five goals to the Dockers’ one. Charlie Curnow got some reward for effort with two majors, while Matt Cottrell, Lochie O’Brien and milestone man Jack Newnes all contributed a goal each bursting forward from the wing. Tom De Koning battled it out in the air while Walsh was dominant in the centre, recording 13 disposals in the second term at 100 per cent efficiency. Zac Fisher had some great score involvements with his precise kicking, as Lewis Young and Brodie Kemp held their own in the defensive end. Jack Silvagni was impactful all over the ground as Carlton registered its dominance in contested possessions and tackles, going into the main change 15 points up.
It was a slow start to the quarter, with neither side able to hit the scoreboard. Eventually, after a strong tackle from McKay, Cottrell was able to kick an exciting running goal after a one-two with Durdin. It wasn’t the only goal assist of the quarter for the small forward, whose left-foot pass for Jack Silvagni produced a much-needed major after consecutive Fremantle majors. The Dockers spent a fair share of the quarter in their forward 50, putting the Blues’ defenders under constant pressure. Docherty was a consistent presence while Lewis Young and Nic Newman produced some physical moments to hold their opponents at bay. Things started to swing the Blues’ way in the back-half of the quarter, and the last goal of the term was always going to be pivotal: Curnow kicked his third goal in the final minute of the term, putting the Blues 20 points ahead at the final change.
Curnow’s fourth goal was just the way the Blues would have wanted to start their final term, giving them a 26-point lead. Good link-up play from defence and some hard running resulted in O’Brien’s second goal - the fifth major contributed by Carlton’s wingmen - as the Blues started to feel the momentum at Marvel Stadium. It was the pressure of Motlop which proved crucial in O’Brien’s goal, as Carlton’s small-forward brigade maintained the pressure they displayed over four quarters. In the closing stages, Walsh amassed his 40th disposal — a career-best for the midfield gun. It was a big win for the Blues, with Curnow and the impressive Tom De Koning chairing off 200-gamer Newnes in his milestone game.
Three things from the game
1. Spread the load. The Blues didn’t have any shortage of goalkickers today, and were able able to find different sources for majors outside of the usual culprits in Curnow (four goals) and McKay (two goals). Most impressive was the return of Carlton’s wingers, with Matt Cottrell slotting two goals in a career-best showing, O’Brien matching his return and Newnes kicking a second-quarter major.
2. Sam Walsh played a dominant game for the Blues, gathering a career-high 40 disposals on the way to a likely three-vote performance. Surging the Blues out of the middle, Walsh - who contributed a game-high 543 metres gained - was all over the ground. Supported by a well-rounded midfield group, the challenge was put out to the players by Michael Voss to impact the contest — the co-vice captain stood up.
3. While the scoreboard may not have reflected it early, the Blues were on from the opening bounce. Their willingness to get in the face of the opposition put the Dockers under all sorts of pressure, led by a group of small forwards who ran all day. Carlton’s 17 tackles inside 50 was indicative of their appetite for the contest and, ultimately, the win.
Best: S. Walsh, Z. Fisher, S. Docherty, C. Curnow, M. Cottrell, L. Young, G. Hewett, T. De Koning.
New Carlton coach Michael Voss believes Saturday's 31-point win over top-four rival Fremantle is the best of the 10 wins the Blues have banked since he arrived at Princes Park. With a spot in the top-four on the line and after losing to Richmond last Thursday night – two weeks after a narrow loss to Collingwood – Carlton produced a spirited four-quarter effort at Marvel Stadium to keep its campaign on course. The Blues haven't played a final since 2013 – the year they replaced Essendon in September after they were disqualified by the AFL – but could be two games inside the top-eight by the end of the round with eight games to play. "It was a signature win," Voss told reporters in his post-match press conference. "It wasn't just against any side; it was against a side that was second on the ladder; they test you in every way. "We got an audit on our system the last time we played them. To be able to go to work on that, take the feedback, work on our game, learn be able to adjust and be able to face them again and put some of the things we learned off them last time, it was a signature win. "It was the best win we've been able to have for a number of reasons, not just about method but our ability to sustain that intensity over the course of four quarters was particularly impressive. "It showed huge growth. I'm very proud of them. It was our best performance clearly for the year. To play all phases well for the entirety of the game, I thought was really impressive."
Superstar Sam Walsh produced another stunning effort, amassing a career-high 40 disposals, 13 contested possessions, 11 inside 50s, seven clearances, one goal and 543 metres gained to help Carlton's midfield respond after a disappointing showing against the Tigers, where the Blues registered 25 less inside 50s and 14 less clearances. "His game was amazing. He just took it to a completely new level today. He challenged them on all fronts, whether it was contest, whether it was the ball spill. He certainly had a game out of the box, that's for sure," Voss said. "Fortunately he had a few mates with him at the same time. We needed a few guys to step up for us all to take some collective responsibility of what we wanted." Voss praised the performances of inexperienced key defensive pair Lewis Young and Brodie Kemp – who impressed in his just his fifth game – after they stood tall against Matt Taberner and Rory Lobb on a day where the Blues' depth was tested. "He (Kemp) has been able to come in and do that a couple of times for us now and do a job. I could put Lewis Young in that same category. His growth over the course of this year has been quite significant," he said. "Sometimes you ask the question about who is not there, and I want to answer that for you, but it's about who is there and what are we able to do and stay connected as a group. We were able to stick at it for longer and walk away with a really good victory."
Carlton lost young small forward Matthew Owies just before the opening bounce when he pulled up with calf tightness in the warm-up, while Jordon Boyd was subbed out of the game with a minor ankle injury in the final quarter. Voss doesn't expect Jacob Weitering to return from shoulder surgery against St Kilda next Friday night but the vice-captain should be available for the trip to Perth to face West Coast the following weekend. "It is a real small possibility (he returns against St Kilda). Our timelines haven't changed," he said. "He's got a few milestones that he needs to tick off before we even entertain something like that, so I would have thought the week after is a bit more realistic." Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe could attract some scrutiny from the Match Review Officer after he made contact with umpire Matthew O'Gorman during a fiery exchange with Carlton players at three-quarter time. The dual Brownlow Medallist made minor contact with O'Gorman’s chest but only after he was shoved from behind by Carlton's Matthew Cottrell during a frustrating day for Fyfe. Dockers coach Justin Longmuir hadn’t seen the incident when asked about the controversial moment in his post-game press conference on Saturday night. "I haven’t spoken to the skipper about that, it’s the least of my worries," Longmuir said. "It's so hard for me to comment when I haven’t seen it. I thought Carlton went after him a bit, especially in the second-half. I don't know whether he was the instigator or the retaliator, in terms of the Carlton players. "I will ask him about it during the week. I am probably more worried about the collective and where we sit as a team." Fyfe finished with just 11 disposals and two clearances in his second game of the season after dealing with shoulder, knee and back injuries in the first half of 2022.
The Blues banked a crucial win over top-four rival Fremantle at Marvel Stadium on Saturday to keep their double-chance aspirations alive. Carlton momentarily returned to the top four but are now only out on percentage. With a brutal final three rounds of the fixture, Michael Voss’ side must beat an out-of-form St Kilda and West Coast in Perth across the next fortnight to maintain its charge for the top-four. Carlton hasn’t played finals since 2013 but it should only need to win three of the final eight games to secure a return to September. A final-round clash against arch rival Collingwood could determine where the Blues finish in the eight. - Josh Gabelich
The run home
R16: St Kilda @ Marvel Stadium
R17: West Coast @ Optus Stadium
R18: Geelong @ MCG
R19: Greater Western Sydney @ Marvel Stadium
R20: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval
R21: Brisbane @ Gabba
R22: Melbourne @ MCG
R23: Collingwood @ MCG
|24 Nic Newman
|33 Lewis Young
|17 Brodie Kemp
|42 Adam Saad
|15 Sam Docherty
|37 Jordan Boyd
|32 Jack Newnes
|9 Patrick Cripps (c)
|4 Lochie O'Brien
|18 Sam Walsh
|30 Charlie Curnow
|3 Jesse Motlop
|19 Corey Durdin
|10 Harry McKay
|1 Jack Silvagni
|12 Tom De Koning
|7 Matthew Kennedy
|29 George Hewett
|20 Lachie Plowman
|25 Zac Fisher
|36 Josh Honey
|46 Matt Cottrell
|43 Will Setterfield
|44 Matt Owies
|16 Jack Carroll
|13 Liam Stocker
Jordan Boyd (ankle) was replaced by Will Setterfield in the 4th quarter.
Late Change: Will Setterfield replaced Jesse Motlop as Medical Sub who replaced Matthew Owies (calf) in the selected side
In: Josh Honey, Brodie Kemp, Jesse Motlop, Will Setterfield.
Out: Sam Durdin (knee), Jack Martin (calf), Matthew Owies (calf), Lachie Fogarty (unused sub).
50 Games (Carlton): Nic Newman
Charlie Curnow, Sam Docherty, Corey Durdin, Zac Fisher Matt Kennedy and Jack Silvagni had played in 10 wins in a single season.
Nic Newman had previously played in 10 wins in a season for Sydney in 2017, but this was a first in his time at Carlton.
Sam Walsh (CARL)
5 - Zac Fisher (CARL)
4 - Tom De Koning (CARL)
4 - Sam Docherty (CARL)
3 - George Hewett (CARL)
2 - Matt Kennedy (CARL)
2 - Adam Saad (CARL)
Round 14 | Round 16