Carlton all but sealed our first finals appearance since 2001, running out 54-point winners over the Power at AAMI Stadium.

Round 20, 2009

Carlton2.4168.8 569.116518.13121
Port Adelaide3.6244.7318.10 589.1367
Venue: AAMI Stadium
Date: Sunday, 16 August Result: Carlton by 54 points
Umpires: C. Kamolins, H. Kennedy, S. McLaren, Crowd: 27,221
Goalkickers : B.Fevola 6, M.Murphy 3, B.Gibbs E.Betts 2,A.Walker, C.Judd, N.Stevens, M.Robinson, A.Carrazzo 1.
Reports: Nil Injuries: Hampson (replaced in the side by Cloke), Robinson (foot)
Ladder Position: 5th

Game Review

After a slow start, the Blues turned off the Power in style with this 54-point victory in difficult conditions at AAMI Stadium - notching up our biggest away win since 2000 - over another finals contender on their home turf. This lifted Carlton to fifth place on the ladder, and confirmed the Blues as finals contenders once more.

Beforehand, Carlton were always going to be tested, and we seemed to be in for a real scrap when Westhoff goaled for the Power after just 30 seconds. The home side jumped out to a 14 points-to-1 lead, before Brendan Fevola kick-started the Blues with his first major when he outmarked his opponent Carlisle. But an answer from Tredrea for Port surely got some Carlton fans a little nervy. A Chris Judd goal with four minutes left righted the ship, but at quarter time scores were 3.6.24 to 2.4.16.

Carlton kicked with a swirling wind in the second term. Fevola shanked a shot on goal, only for Eddie Betts to mark and snap truly for the perfect start. With Bret Thornton and Paul Bower working hard in defence, Carlton continued to push forward, and we were rewarded when Marc Murphy put us ahead only 5 minutes in. Port were suddenly second to the ball, and a terrible kick out of defence resulted in a superb set shot goal from Bryce Gibbs. A few minutes later Fevola again out-muscled his opponent, and kicked his second to give Carlton a handy lead. Port ruckman Dean Brogan had much to say during this term, but couldn't stand up when needed. He sprayed a tight-angled close range shot out on the full, and the scores at half time were 4.7.31 to 8.8.56; a 25-point lead to the Blues.

It took 7 minutes of play in the third quarter for the first major, when a goal to Tredrea lifted the home side and their very subdued supporters. Carlton looked scrappy most of the way, and our only goal for the quarter was Fev's third, coming from another solid grab in the goal square. But the Power kept on coming, and Tredrea's second put Carlton under the pump - especially when their lively small forward Robbie Gray goaled after some brilliant ruckwork from Brendan Lade with only seconds remaining. Port seemed to have momentum coming in the last quarter, although Carlton still led by 7 points, and would kick with the breeze coming home.

Prior to this match, Carlton had the best last-quarter record in the competition, and in the next 30 magnificent minutes, proved that we were worthy finals contenders. Gray's miss for Port proved costly, then Fevola marked between the goal and point posts. He played on and the kick was smothered, but the umpire called it back and Fev learnt from his mistake. He slotted his fourth, Port players heads dropped, and when Carrazzo kicked a beauty from the boundary line, it was all over. Fev's fifth major stretched the gap out to a game high 24 points, then Mitch Robinson marked strongly and was awarded a 50-metre penalty. When he goaled and Marc Murphy took a 'hanger' over Chad Cornes and steered through another one, Carlton was putting on a show for the many Adelaide-based Bluebagger faithful. Fevola's sixth was the last goal of the game, and the Blues ran out impressive winners by 54 points.

Best on Ground went to Marc Murphy who had 33 disposals and 3 goals. Bryce Gibbs was outstanding with 32 touches and 2 goals, while Richard Hadley played a great game with 27 possessions. Other Blues who stood out were Andrew Walker, Bret Thornton, Brendan Fevola and Heath Scotland.

The average age of this Carlton team was 24 years and 164 days, with an average League experience of 95.0 games per player. Nick Stevens was the oldest, at 29 years and 225 days, and the most experienced with 228 games. Aaron Joseph was the youngest (20 years and 43 days old) while Mitch Robinson was the least experienced with 10 games.


B: 34 Simon Wiggins 18 Paul Bower 2 Jordan Russell
HB: 12 Mitch Robinson 32 Bret Thornton 33 Ryan Houlihan
C: 1 Andrew Walker 5 Chris Judd (c) 27 Dennis Armfield
HF: 3 Marc Murphy 17 Setanta O’hAilpin 24 Nick Stevens (vc)
F: 6 Kade Simpson 25 Brendan Fevola 19 Eddie Betts
Ruck: 8 Matthew Kreuzer 4 Bryce Gibbs 45 Aaron Joseph
Interchange:10 Richard Hadley 28 *Cameron Cloke 29 Heath Scotland
44 Andrew Carrazzo
Coach: Brett Ratten
Emg: 13 Chris Yarran , 21 Mark Austin, 22 Shaun Hampson

*Cloke replaced Shaun Hampson in the selected side.


Winning Streaks: This was our 3rd victory in a row against Port Adelaide, continuing our record winning streak against them.
Interesting Fact: This win sealed our place in the finals.
Interesting Fact: This was our largest away win since 2000, when we smashed the Eagles by 50 points at Subiaco.
Interesting Fact: This was the second time in the year we'd won three in a row.

Brownlow Votes

3. Marc Murphy, Carlton
2. Chris Judd, Carlton
1. Bryce Gibbs, Carlton

Best and Fairest Votes

44 Bret Thornton, 41 Marc Murphy, 38 Jordan Russell, 36 Bryce Gibbs, 33 Brendan Fevola, 33 Ryan Houlihan, 29 Richard Hadley, 19 Dennis Armfield, 16 Andrew Carrazzo

The Ghost article

The Chad Man

The fossil fragments affectionately known as Chad Man has a record of sorts – one of those records that no one really wants but someone has to have, like how I could stick 32 kool mints in my mouth at once and chew them all (despite the Niagara of dribble that flowed between my stretched lips).

No one else could fit 32 mints in their gob (or at least no one actually tried). Another such record was when I was a kid in prep, somehow a kid called Maurice Wiley was told I was the best fighter at my school. He came looking for me (luckily he never found me). Years later Maurice and I played football together for St Thomas Moore's and, believe me, I was always very glad that he never found me! He played CHB, I was lucky to play wing. He was as tough as an old leather saddle, me, I spent a lot of time warming the seat as 19th man.

So it was with The Chad man, the idea was, you see, that Chad Man was the missing link, the single most important piece of evolutionary bone fragments ever found. Sadly, for Chad, the title of 'missing link' and the high status that came with it was a fleeting moment in time. The record, as it exists in anthropological circles (just wanted to see if I could spell that word) is that Chad Man went from star to reject in record time.

It went something like this - in a remarkably short time, Chad Man passed through all four phases of the usual ape-man life-cycle.

Those four phases are:

1. Fragments Found - Chad opens his mouth before the ball is bounced

2. Imaginative Interpretation - Chad thinks Port are a chance and Fev their 'fossilised bunny'

3. Popular Publication – newspapers report his boast.

4. Data Dismissed - Fev kicks 6 and the Bluebaggers smash Port.

Port, hoping to stay in the eight and play finals, went searching for the missing link and their man Chad thought the best way to find that spark that might turn Port from goneabes to gunnabes was through the mouth.

Now Chad, even the apes know that talk is cheap, that it's all about actions not vowels. It's about consistency of effort not velocity of consonants. Anyone can beat their chest and strut across the ink of the daily newspapers but on that wicked oval, that funnel that challenges all players to make the charge, truth will out!

When can their jumper fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the league wondered.
Honor the game they played,
Honor the Bluebagger Brigade,
Noble twenty-two players. (apologies to Lord Alfred Tennyson.)

And so we came, we played and we conquered (no Latin this week, translate that yourselves) and poor old Chad, that Man Chad, well the closest he came to glory was in the bear hug Fev gave him. I wonder what our man Fev might have said to that man Chad – something along the lines of 'how's them apples Chad man?'

Yes that man Chad strutted and bespoke and twittered like the early bird on the bough, but our boys brought the bacon home (how's that for a contorted mixed-metaphor!) which just goes to show if the chain is broke 'aint no missing link going to fix it for long.

So we played another excellent game with the lads running across the bones of Port Power, fracturing their finals dreams, shattering their fragile hopes of glory and redemption. We played football like men, they watched, mouths agape, little more than apes to our Tarzan.

Perhaps next time Chad might zip the lip and just come out and play football, you know, let the game do all the talking, do that Chad and maybe the chimp won't seem such a chump.

This week it's Melbourne and the Dees, its must be whispered, really do not want to win this game, not that there is any such thing as Tanking but, really, why would they want to win?

And so, in a weird way, this is a dangerous game for us. We are building momentum and must treat this game as normal, must stick to our plans, our goals, our structures, and not get carried away by the farce these sort of games can become. The week after it's the Crowing Adelaide bunch so it is important we keep to the straight and narrow this week, it's important we play to our level and not worry too much about what Melbourne is doing.

Against Port we defended when we had to, played ugly against the wind when the elements demanded us to and then, with the wind behind, we spread the sails and flew home. This was a Navy Blue win like the wins of old. This side is gaining confidence, belief, it's playing to instructions. Murph is moving towards elite, as is Gibbs.

This week add Hammer and maybe even Warnock (if Hammer can't come up) and the side will become even stronger. This week we must focus on the clearance work, get it right for the following week.

To the boys, well done so far. The jobs not done yet but the first step is done. We are playing finals.

Another step in the evolution of this side is complete. From cellar dweller to finals competitor, from chimpanzee to champion. Well done lads and Ratts and Co.

Next step the 17th!

This week Fev for 10

JR to provide more run than a cheetah from the backline

and Kreuze for B.O.G.

Go Blues!

Mike and Dan

Mike & Dan Round 20: Carrots’ Goal

Pivotal, breakaway moments often win matches. And not for the first time this year, Andrew Carrazzo was able to nab a major in a key moment in a game. Whilst you wouldn’t up until this year have ‘Carrots’ down as your moneyman for shots like this, he has kicked 9.6 this year whilst averaging over 22 stats a game – and still minding opponents. But for his pivotal last quarter goal, he wins this week’s Play of the Week…

Nice goal - you've nabbed some important ones this year. Is this something you've been working on?

I’ve been doing work on my kicking in general so it was nice to put one through the big sticks.

It seemed tricky out there. How blustery were the conditions?

It was really blustery. Kicking to the left hand side of screen the wind would deflect off the stand & do all sorts of things. A couple of Fev’s kicks dropped early – it was really swirly.

Did you realise that you guys have extended a record winning streak by Carlton over Port to... Three?

    • Laughs ** I wouldn’t call it an extended winning streak, but 3 is still good! Especially considering 2 of those were over there. Winning interstate is not easy & you’ll take that every time.

In fact, our friends at the Blueseum would like to highlight that this is in fact a record winning streak for Carlton over Port, and also the first time we’ve ever had consecutive wins over them – click here for details.

The media made a lot of the so-called 'dislike' between the two clubs. Was it just hype, or are there sides you genuinely want to beat more than others?

Not really – you take a win no matter who it’s against & it’s probably unrealistic to say you want 4 points against one team more than another. I’d say if there is any hatred it’s probably more from them than from us! The game itself wasn’t particularly spiteful apart from a few pushes & shoves.

We were well beaten in the clearances but won by 9 goals - what can we put this down to?

Brogan & Lade are an experienced duo & whilst we did our best to counter them, they were just hard to match. To still be able to win just shows how hard we worked at both ends of the ground.

Ratts spoke about how we've changed our interstate routine & go up a day earlier now. What are your thoughts - how does this benefit?

Going early is good – you probably don’t notice it much for the short trips like Adelaide but for the longer trips it’s an improvement. We’re 3 from 3 using this method - so far so good!

Your 100th is coming up if you can play 4 more matches this year. Will you get there in time?

I hope so. We are certain to play finals so it would be fantastic & very exciting to bring it up in a final.

Tell us what it means for you to get to 100 and have your name on the locker…

Unbelievable. When I started it seemed a million miles away & I didn’t really think about it.

The club was quite flat in the middle of the year but is on a bit of a roll now. What is the difference?

I think getting a few guys back has given us a bit of an extra kick that we needed. Guys like Walker & Wiggins have given us a new resolve. To have more players available & all pulling in the same direction has really helped.

Joseph has done a great job as a nominated rookie - following in your footsteps. Do you think that rookie listers are just seen as part of the list these days, subject to a few clear differences?

When I started there was more of a feeling that rookies topped up & filled in the end of drills etc but things have come a long way even in that short time. Now they are part & parcel of the full list.

Any other rookies set to break through in the coming year?

Dave Ellard would be leading the Bullants B & F so far I’d say. Plays 6 inches taller & 10kg heavier than he is. Unfortunately Luke Stanton has a back problem & is out for the rest of the year but he was also looking promising early. Of course these guys wouldn’t be able to develop without the support of Darren Harris, David Teague, & Rob Harvey who are all doing a fantastic job.

Is there a buzz about the club now that both the Bullants and the Blues look destined for September action?

Yep. It’s been a long time since the firsts have been in the finals & I’m not even sure how long since both the firsts & seconds.

Has training changed over the past month or so? Does it ramp at this time of the year or does it taper off?

Neither really – it more depends on how many days break you have before the game. This week with a 6 day break it’s been pretty light – but we’ll lift it up a bit for the final session of the week.

We're coming off a great win, have won 6 of our last 7 and are playing a team who many are saying can't win to protect a draft pick. Is there any danger of complacency this week?

No way. Melbourne kicked 20 goals on the weekend which is a great achievement & they can’t be underestimated. We’ve got to keep our form going & can’t afford to take a step back.

You played your first AFL game against this week's opponent in 2005. What do you remember of the game?

I remember it was at Visy Park & we won. I was extremely nervous – I don’t think I’ll ever forget the nerves. But the main thing that I remember was the thrill of playing for Carlton at the ground where I used to come & watch the Blues play when I was growing up.

Like to have a crack at any of your teammates?

I’d like to remind Andy Walker to remember to bring his wallet the next time he comes out with us!!

Carrazzo seems to be one of those guys that is thrown from role to role - defensive mid, defensive forward, defender (and even some time midfielder) – but he just keeps on getting the stats. Add some improved and key-moment goal kicking and you can see why he is a core part of our Best 22.

Round 19 | Round 21
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